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Joy

Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore – Psalm 16:11

Joy is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, joy is different from happiness, joy is what all Christians should have whether they are in the storm or out of the storm. Joy comes from God not what’s happening in our lives.

Although we are in the world, we are not of this world and as Christians we have allowed too much of the world to come into our lives. We replay our failures and shortcomings, over and over again, we rewind them until we become weary, and sometimes depressed. We forget that God has moved into our hearts and enlarged them so that joy and sadness can dwell together without evicting the other. Pain and peace, hope and hurt, there’s room for all in our God-expanded hearts. There’s room to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. Joy is a state of mind, not a state of affairs.

Every Christian should enjoy the joy of salvation. From the very beginning, God knew the human race would fall and His creation would soon become disintegrated. God didn’t sit back wringing His hands wondering what He was going to do, He already had a plan in place. He would send His Son to the world to reconcile the human race back to Him. Jesus was with the Father at the beginning of Creation (And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth – Genesis 1:26). Understanding the love the Father has for His creation is enough to have joy at all times even in difficult times. Jesus left His Father to come to earth to reconcile us to the Father.

Adam, the federal head of the human race, was also the seminal head. The word seminal implies that everyone existed in seed form within Adam, and that he was the head of human race. The imputation of sin occurred originally when the sin of Adam was charged to the account of every person. The imputation is sin is not arbitrarily charging people with sin for which they are not naturally responsible, but reckoning to them the guilt they deserve. Imputation of sin is charged to all because we all are connected with Adams’s race. We all needed a Savior and the only Savior, is the man Jesus, the Christ of God.

When one receives salvation there will be a conversion. The term conversion refers to the human response to the gospel, while regeneration is God’s creation of a new nature in the one who believes. Conversion requires the commitment of the total personality, intellect, emotion and will. This is how people people respond to the message of the gospel when they understand the nature of Christ’s atonement, they will feel the guilt of conviction, love God and surrender their will to the offer of salvation. The result of conversion is a changed life. Just as conversion result in our obtaining salvation and ultimate liberty from sin, so a continuous yielding of our will to God as Christians is the key to spiritual victory without it, one will only become a carnal Christian.

No matter what comes into our lives as Christians, Jesus has promised, He would never leave us or forsake us (Let your conversation [conduct] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee – Hebrews 13:5). Knowing that we have Jesus to walk with us through life’s issues and difficulties should bring us joy. Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father, He didn’t come to deliver us from trouble and issues of life. Erroneous teaching has led many Christians to think after salvation they will not have any problems and have led many to leave the faith when they encounter life issues and Satan’s attacks.

The Apostle Paul taught the disciples then and now that we will encounter tribulations (Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God – Acts 14:22). We will go through difficult times, but God has empowered us through His Son to endure hard times and yet have the joy of the Lord which is our strength. This why we must pray, fast, read and study God’s Word and allow His Word to dominate our thinking, behavior, and attitude. Our faith must be in God and in His Word, this will enable us to endure anything that comes into our lives and still have joy.

We have the joy of being loved. So many people feel unloved, but the love of the Lord is unconditional. He loves us even when we didn’t love Him. He loves us when we live a righteous life and when we live an ungodly life. He doesn’t love the sin, but He loves the individual. So many times people try to make people like them when all they need to know is that whether they are liked by others or not, Jesus always loves them. We also have joy in loving God when we have a relationship with Him by being connected to Him. When we love God willingly we are submitted to His will and plan for our lives. We will praise Him in the good times as well as the bad times because He has placed His love in us to love Him.

We rejoice in seeing God in action when we come into relationship and fellowship with God, He will give us visitations. We will feel His presence in our homes or in cars wherever we fellowship with Him, He will meet us there. God is aware of everything that comes in our life and He’s there to walk us through. God will never abandoned us neither will He allow things to come into our lives to destroy us. When we walk away from God is when we open the door to Satan to have control over us and our lives.

As we grow in spirit, we will also grow in joy. There is no formulas to growing in joy, no easy shortcuts, because joy is always the fruit of living, growing relationship with God. Too many times as Christians we don’t spend enough time with God to feel His presence, to feel His joy. We spend more time with things that are not sinful, such as television programs, social media but they are not spiritual , therefore, hindering our spiritual growth and relationship with God. In order to have joy we must spend time with the One that will give us joy now and joy for eternity.

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