This week’s study is concentrating on joy. Thank you for joining me, as we explore God’s word. I pray it will be a blessing to you.
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 47:1 NIV
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, Down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.”
We were singing loudly, the evidence of joy shining on our faces. It was the first day of VBS on that hot Georgia summer morning. We sang, clapped, shouted, and jumped in time to the lively music flowing from the piano in our little Methodist church.
Joy experienced by children is uninhibited and spontaneous. It is seen in their eyes and in their smile. They readily embrace laughter; their pure joy is just as evident as that of a puppy who, in wagging its tail, cannot help but wag its whole body. Oh, to recapture the joy of our childhood, the unguarded exhibition of who we are, and the confidence which goes along with it!
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy…
Psalm 16:11a ESV
As we take the path which God has prepared for us, we can discover true joy, not the kind of joy the world offers. The world’s type of joy is temporary, depending on the situation of the moment. The unbeliever’s joy lasts as long as things are going well but disappears as soon as problems arise.
Believers experience joy in God’s presence, as we worship Him. We experience the joy of the Lord in the company of other believers. This is the joy of the Lord, a joy only He can give us and, no matter the circumstances, no one can take it away from us. Problems arise. Tragedy sometimes happens in our lives. Disappointments abound. Where is the joy then? Maybe it does not look like it at the time. But, at the center of our being which belongs to Christ, God’s joy sustains us. We may not feel joyful, but the joy of the Lord is your strength, according to Nehemiah 8:10 ESV. We can be confident that God’s love and care for us are consistent no matter what we encounter.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit which He gives to believers. He gives us joy so we can encourage and bless others. When we allow His fruit to truly dwell in us, it overflows and spills into the lives of others. As others see our joy, they hopefully will be drawn to a personal relationship with Jesus. At the very least, they may seriously need joy in their lives. Sharing the fruit of joy with them may mean more than we will ever know.
Have you ever thought about reading everything the Bible has to say about joy? There is so much written on this particular Fruit of the Spirit. If we took this subject and studied it during our devotional time for a month or more, we would see joy not only comes from God, but it is a gift to those of us who belong to Jesus. We will learn that as we grow in our relationship with God, our joy will increase. We also learn that we can choose to be joyful, even when we are not necessarily feeling that way. And, best of all, we learn that God promises us joy for the future.
Jesus, our Savior, went to the cross and died a horrible death, so we can be saved and live eternally with Him in the home He has prepared for us. He is the joy-giver. And why would He not be, when He took all of our sins to the cross with Him? Jesus has paid for those sins, so we do not have to pay for them ourselves.
There is one catch, however. The gift of eternal life with Jesus is contingent upon our acceptance of His gift by sincerely repenting of our sins, asking Him for forgiveness, and inviting Him into our heart to become our Savior and our Lord, thereby letting Him know we gladly accept His free gift of salvation. He loves us enough to have given His life for us.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, I invite you to do so today. If you have made the decision to follow Him, I would be honored if you would share it with me.
Father God, please give us joy in You today, and show us how to share the joy of the Lord with others. I also pray for those reading this who do not know You. Please draw them to you, and guide them into repentance and salvation, giving them the fruit of joy. For Your glory. In Jesus’ most powerful and loving name. Amen
Copyright 2020@ Evelyn Mason Wells: The Fruit of Joy
Meet Our Contributor
EVELYN MASON WELLS
Evelyn Mason Wells is an award-winning author who has contributed to Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character (2019 Selah finalist, Lighthouse Bible Studies), Glimmers of Heavenly Light (Faith Books & More), Let the Earth Rejoice (Worthy Inspired), Breaking the Chains (2018 Selah finalist, Lighthouse Bible Studies), Just Breathe (Worthy/Ellie Claire), and Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (Lighthouse Bible Studies).
Find her articles/devotions at Refresh Bible Study Magazine and CBN.
Evelyn is a Bible study and devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Passionate about glorifying God through her writing and speaking, Evelyn enjoys spending time on short-term mission trips, both domestic and foreign. She was recently blessed with an opportunity to speak/minister in Uganda.
Evelyn loves attending Bible Studies, spiritual retreats, and having good conversation with friends over lunch or a glass of tea. She is also an avid fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Braves. Evelyn enjoys good books, her cats, traveling, and especially spending time with her family.
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