All over the world people come up with new resolutions each year. In Christian circles, it has been popular to ask God for a WORD that can be focused on that year.
What about me? Where do I fall in all of these traditions? Normally, I wouldn’t do either.
I never have been into new year resolutions, nor have I chosen a WORD to apply to my life — however, I have noticed a theme in my life the past couple of months. Does this theme render itself as MY word for 2016? Perhaps.
A few months ago, I ordered a vanity plate for my car. What do the letters on the plate spell you may ask? Three little simple letters: JOY
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The definition of JOY
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
While meeting with my friend and mentor, I shared what God had been showing me lately. She suggested I go back to a Bible study that our group did a few years ago when I joined: Living Beyond Yourself, Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore. Following her advice, I opened the chapter on JOY (the second character quality for the fruit of the Spirit). I am only starting to delve into the MORE of Joy. I say the MORE because we often use words and never truly examine them.
Beth Moore shared that the Greek word for joy is CHARA. The definition of chara: JOY, REJOICING, GLADNESS — ENJOYMENT, BLISS. She stated that in many ways, chara means TO CELEBRATE.
Do you remember the scripture where the followers of Christ were joyful because the demons submitted to them? Do you remember what Christ said?
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Are you a Christian? Have you given your life to Christ? If you can answer yes to those questions, then my friend — YOU HAVE A REASON TO REJOICE!
- JOY – BECAUSE MY NAME IS WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.
Beth Moore led us to read Psalm 51:12 where King David declared, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
When reading this scripture in the past I just assumed it was, “Restore to me the joy of MY salvation,” but read it again. Whose salvation is it? GOD’S! He is the author and creator of it and it is His to give to us.
- JOY – BECAUSE GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE GIFT OF SALVATION.
Beth points out that salvation is a gift of GRACE that we have the privilege to accept. Interestingly enough, the Greek word for grace (Charis) is very similar to the Greek word for joy (Chara). Joy is written into grace! Think about that for a moment. JOY is in GRACE and SALVATION is a gift of GRACE. There is joy all around when we realize what we have been saved FROM.
1 Peter 3:3-7
“…that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
- JOY – BECAUSE I WON’T BE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE OR BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO MY WORKS.
Beth Moore points out that though our works are important, we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Eph 2:10, p. 76). Thankfully, we won’t be judged by our works, but saved by CHRIST’S WORK. Hallelujah!
Even though this post is about joy, I am sad about all who will face that day of meeting God and it will be too late. All of those who always thought they would get their lives “right” (though that isn’t possible without Christ) before they die. I am sad for those who didn’t believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. I am sad for those who think there is another way to heaven. One day each of them will bow their knee and know that Jesus Christ is Lord, but it will be too late. We can’t even fathom the depth of despair that people will face. There will be absolutely NO hope for them. I shudder to think of what they will face.
If you are reading this post and don’t know Jesus, then it wasn’t by chance that you landed here. He wants to reveal Himself to you. Even if you have doubt, why don’t you pray (speak to Him) and ask Him to show you the Truth. God’s Word declares:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.
Seek Him today and find Him.
I am joining my friend Barbie today for her Weekend Whispers over HERE.