But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.–Galatians 5:22-23
Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left.
Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!”
Many Christians today live life as if there is no hope, but because of Christ’s death on Calvary, we can have joy in our lives! We do not have to rely upon a material possession, a person, or a certain event to bring us joy; we can have joy in God!
The word joy God uses in our verses today is the Greek word chara which means “a joy whose foundation is found in God.” Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” God commands us to rejoice in Him! He is our source of joy.In order to receive His joy, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit.——
Even though the Holy Spirit lives in us and fills us, we can sometimes become discouraged or unhappy. We must not let the devil take our joy. As David became discouraged, we see what he did in 1 Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” We must encourage ourselves in the Lord by thinking on two things.
First, we must think about our salvation. Friend, God sent His only Son to die for you! Had you been the only person on earth, Jesus still would have died for you. And had you only committed one sin, Christ still would have come. God loves you that much! You also have a home in Heaven and will one day spend eternity with Christ! When we think of our eternal destination, we cannot help but be joyous!
Also, we must encourage ourselves by helping others. There is no greater joy than to help someone else in their time of need. You may be thinking, “Well aren’t they supposed to help me? Here I am in difficulty and no one is helping me!” When we focus on ourselves, the problem will always seem bigger than it actually is. We must focus on the burdens of others and take time to help them.
Are you living a life of joy today? When discouraging times come, don’t let the devil rob you of your joy. Encourage yourself by thinking about your eternal home in Heaven. You will live with God forever! Also take time to help others. As we focus more on others than ourselves, our burdens will become lighter. Ask God now to help you live a joyful life today. ( By Dr. Paul Chappell)