Oct 22 8:04 AM
Oct 22 8:04 AM
Oct 22 8:04 AM
Friday, October 22, 2021
I have been talking about how to live with an attitude. Now, if I just say, "Boy, that person has an attitude," nine times out of ten it has a negative connotation. But I'm talking about living with a biblical, godly attitude. That's what we're unpacking. In the fruit of the Spirit there are nine godly attitudes. We see just before the passage that lists the nine fruit of the Spirit, it says we have a choice. We can live in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, or we can live the way we used to live before we became Christians, if in fact we are. That's always a choice. The proof, the fruit, the evidence that you're living in the Holy Spirit and not living your old way is that you're living out these fruit of the Spirit. So, last time I talked about the very first fruit of the Spirit, which is love. Today, I want to talk to you about the second fruit of the Spirit, which is found in Galatians 5:22b, where it says, "The fruit of the Spirit is... joy." Today, I want to tell you, don't settle for happiness. A lot of people confuse happiness and joy. They are completely different. The Bible never commands us to be happy all the time. Not one time. The Bible doesn't say be miserable, either, though Christians are really good at that, unfortunately. But the Bible never commands us to be happy all the time.
The Bible does command us to be joyful all time. Paul said in Philippians, "Be joyful in the Lord always. And again I say it: Rejoice!" So the Bible calls us and commands us to be joyful, but it never commands us to be happy. Why? Because it's impossible to always be happy. It is impossible because happiness is tied to your emotions. Joy is tied to your volitional decisions. Happiness is how I feel. If you go to Disney, you feel great! You bring your young kids to Disney, we did that a couple times, it's great. Oh my goodness, you pay the admission, buy food all the time, take pictures with Mickey, buy hats and t-shirts, jackets, posters, everything! It is so awesome. You're at Disney, you're happy. Then, about three weeks later, you get the credit card bill. You're not happy anymore. It's different.
But joy says no matter what my circumstances I can have joy. By the way, the word happiness comes from happenstance, which comes from circumstance. Despite your circumstance, joy is an inner condition, an inner state. It's a gift from God. We can always be joyful. So, I'm asking you this based on what I said. Can you be joyful and not happy? Yes you can, because happiness comes and goes, up and down. Joy is available through Jesus Christ. So, I want to challenge you to live with joy. The apostle Paul not only said "rejoice in Lord always," he said it with a life that was filled with turmoil, complexities, challenges, and death threats. He had been tortured, beaten, imprisoned, etc. So much had been done to the Apostle Paul, yet he said, "Rejoice in the Lord always." Why? Because to rejoice is a choice. Happiness, is kind of a choice, but it's really how you feel. It's based on circumstances, and circumstances don't always go our way. But God always allows them to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Joy isn't dependant on circumstances. Are you choosing joy? What are you going through right now? Tough time? Unhappy about it? That's okay. It's okay to be unhappy about it. Are you finding God's joy in it anyway? Things at work may be tough. One of my family members texted me about a job situation that's tough. I don't expect that family member to be happy, but I hope, if they're seeking God, that they're joyful. Maybe you have some health issue, or some other bad news that's coming your way. God doesn't ask you to be happy about it, to celebrate, or throw a party because you're sick. No, instead you can be joyful no matter what. You can make the choice to rejoice.
You say, "Vince, how do I do it?" Remember, the fruit of the Spirit are simply you getting in touch with the Holy Spirit, and him supplying You with supernatural joy that you can't manufacture. You can't manufacture joy. You can manufacture happiness, but you can't manufacture joy. So, you live in the Holy Spirit, remember what Jesus did for you, get filled with joy from the Holy Spirit, and be joyful, even if you're unhappy. Let's pray. Father, thank you for this reminder that we should not settle for happiness, but instead for joy. Happiness is unachievable all the time. Joy is achievable all the time when we live in your spirit and remember what you've done for us. Help us to be joyful people in Jesus' name, amen.