Friday, March 16, 2012

Are You Happy?

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...”

Romans 14:17 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Have you noticed that people aren’t happy anymore? Everywhere you go, it seems like everyone woke up late, couldn’t get their hair straight, and drank a half-gallon of lemon juice! It is a very rare thing to encounter a truly happy person right now.

But the Bible says that a believer’s life should be full of joy! Romans 14:17 says that joy is one-third of the Kingdom of God within you. Galatians 5:22 says joy is a fruit that should naturally be a part of a Spirit-filled life.

Has this been your experience? Or have you, like me, been having a hard time seeing the difference between the attitude of the world and the attitude of believers? We’ve gotten so caught up in all the bad news and in the condition of this world that we’ve forfeited our happiness.

What we need to realize is, happiness and true joy are not the same thing!

Happiness is fickle. It comes and goes based on the silliest things.
“I’ve got a new pair of shoes, I’m happy now!”
“I got a shaving cut this morning, now I’m not happy.”
Happiness is probably one of the most fragile emotions humans have. It doesn’t take much at all to ruin it. The thing that Christians been to remember is this, happiness is always based on external situations. When those situations change, your happiness changes with it!

The church has been so busy trying to find its own happiness - just something to make me feel good! We’ve forgotten that Jesus never promised us happiness in this life! As long as we’re in this world, things are going to change. And as long as things are changing, happiness will come and go. What we as believers need, is something more lasting. We need joy.

Joy is not based on surroundings - it’s based on faith. 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” The joy that comes from the Holy Spirit says, “it doesn’t matter what I see or don’t see, I trust in God - and because of that, I’m going to rejoice.”

Joy is lasting. As long as your faith is in God, your joy remains. In John 15:11 Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus wants our joy to be lasting, to remain regardless of what’s going on around us.

Joy is a choice, not an emotion. We all know Nehemiah 8:10 - “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” But did you know that Nehemiah was talking to a group of sad, bummed-out people? He was encouraging them to stop looking at their circumstances and rejoice in the Lord! Well, they listened to him. Despite the way they felt, they decided to rejoice. But here’s the best part, as they obeyed Nehemiah and rejoiced, the happiness returned! Remember when I told you that happiness is fickle? Well, true joy (based on faith) will actually produce happiness!

Joy is built up from God’s Word. Jeremiah 15:16 - “And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” If we go back to John 15:11, we can see that joy is based on Jesus’ words. When we spend time in God’s Word, it builds up our joy. Actually, that makes perfect sense! After all, faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17) - and joy is rooted in faith!

Christian, whenever you are feeling discouraged, depressed, sad or fearful; that is the time you need to fall back onto faith and joy. You need to make a decision to rejoice for what you believe! You need to get into the presence of God (Psalm 16:11 “In Your presence is fullness of Joy) and remember what He has done for you. As you do this, as you build yourself up in joy, your happiness will usually return!

The bottom line is, true christian joy is not an emotion! It is a decision from your spirit to trust what God has said!

No comments:

Post a Comment