In the last blog I talked about all believers having joy because God’s Spirit brings it to us. I said that one reason we don’t always experience true joy is that we don’t really understand what it is. Joy is an inner peaceful assurance that comes when you trust that God is in control of all that is happening. Happiness is a shallow, emotional response to a pleasing environment and is very temporary. Experiencing joy comes from knowing what it is.
The second element is to eliminate that which shuts off our joy. Joy is always there because God’s Holy Spirit is always within us, but we don’t experience it when we allow other things to block it. Some of these joy-suckers include unconfessed sin (Psalm 51:12; 66:18), self-centeredness or pride, anger, fear, etc. These things grieve (Ephesians 4:30) or quench (1 Thessalonians 5:19) God’s Spirit, which keeps Him from freely flowing through us. Thus the fruit of His Spirit, including joy, aren’t experienced in our lives. It’s like taking a hose and bending it so a kink forms, slowing or stopping the flow of water. Any sin or disobedience will do that.
Now back to my simple formula for joy. First, understand it is a deep inner contentment, not external happiness, so you know what to look for. Second, make sure there is no sin or disobedience in your life. If there is anything between you and God His Spirit won’t smoothly flow and you’ll shut down the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. This is easy to understand, but not always so simple to do. Don’t pray for more joy, all of it is already yours. Pray to see if there is anything in the way, anything keeping you from full, total connection to Him.
Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalm 51:12 Return to me the joy of my salvation.
Read and pray Psalm 139:23-24 : “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization