Do We Have to Work at Our " JOY " ?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Dusty, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Do We Have to Work at Our " JOY " ?

    I think a lot of people get the word "joy " and' Happiness " mixed up .

    Myself , if we are a Christian we should not have to work at our
    " Joy ' . Because joy comes from the Lord and is deeply embedded in our spirit .

    I have heard Christians say they have lost their joy . But if they are depressed , or lonely , or anxious , I can understnd why they say that .

    But I don't believe we ever loose our joy and in the midst of our problems we can still praise God in song and worship and prayer and somehow that joy rejuvenates and we are reminded that we nver loose the joy of the Lord . The joy of the Lord is my strength .

    Nehemiah 8:10
    Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

    " Happiness" on the other hand is from the world as people say they are happy in the pleasures that the world has to offer but we all know that they are a temporary quick fix that is offered by satan .

    So , I have the joy , joy , joy down in my heart as that little song says .

    So lets say with the psalmist ....Psalm 28:7
    The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
  2. Dusty, I agree. Joy comes from my relationship with the Lord Jesus and my involvement in the Kingdom of God. The only thing we have to work at is our salvation. Phil. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: 13 for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. One can clearly understand why Paul makes a statement like this. God made it possible for us to be saved, but we have the responsibility not to yield our members again to the sinful nature of the flesh. It takes discipline and hard work, but is only possible through Christ that strengthen us! Very important. I cant do anything out my own. Paul so many times to the different congregations makes it very clear that the day I commit my life to the Lord Jesus, it is no longer I that liveth but Christ in me. In my personal involvement in full time
    ministry, I can truelly testify that the more I am out there in the field, the more I preach/share the gospel, the more time I spent in my relationship with the Lord, the greater the joy I experience on a daily basis! It brings a fulfillment like nothing else can! And the crux of the matter is that you don't need to be in full time ministry to accomplish this, no! At your work, where you go, everyday of your life God opens doors, creates opportunities for us to establish His kingdom. You don't need a degree in theology to do that. I don't shoot it down at all, after all, Paul instructed Timothy to "study to find thyself approve!" But so many people have this idea that they will never be able because they are not "educated" enough! Remember that Jesus used mere fishermen to do great works of faith. The word of my testimony, Paul calls it. It begin with a willing heart! As far back as Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah makes a bold statement that said: the joy of the Lord is your strength, and where does it come from?? My relationship with the best Father in the universe! You can clearly see it in the life's of people who backslide. The first thing they loose is their joy! A joy that comes from a security I find in my relationship with the Lord Jesus! Blessings to you.

    Yours in His service
  3. Amen , Albert ... Well said Thanks

    . There is nothing more to add other than , it is our daily walk with the Lord , reading the Word , praying and being receoptive to the Holy Spirit that keeps us and each day our JOY comes from Him the author and finisher of our faith .
  4. when i do good things i feel joy.hapiness is knowing you consistently ignore evil.
  5. What is joy? This question came up during a home fellowship Bible-study. We were reviewing the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Surprisingly, it developed into a relatively heated discussion. One of the leaders of the group was adamant that “joy was NOT happiness; it was more than happiness.” I too had a difficult time defining joy; but I felt very strongly that it was important to recognize that joy was happiness, though it was more than happiness. I even pulled out a dictionary which defined joy as happiness. We ended that evening without reaching an agreement upon a good definition of joy.

    Over the next several weeks, I surveyed many of my Christian friends, asking them their definition of joy. 75% or more responded something along the lines of, “It’s not happiness, it’s more than happiness. It’s a peace, a contentment, a feeling of being at rest.” I would respond, “No, that’s peace and contentment, but what is joy.” To which they had no reply. Few said that joy was happiness; and typically those who I considered more mature in the faith responded that joy was not happiness, but something more than happiness.

    These “more mature” Christians, were typically very serious minded, but not what you would say markedly happy people. They were disciplined in their Christian life, compassionate, kind, gentle people, and often carrying the cares of many others on their shoulders. It wasn’t that they were sad, per se, but very serious and reserved. These “mature” Christians would typically say that joy was not happiness, but more than happiness.

    I pondered the meaning of joy for a few months. Sometimes, seemingly insignificant questions like this will nag me until I eventually come across the answer. A clear definition of joy was illusive, like grasping sand. I believed it was happiness as defined in the dictionary, but it was also much more than happiness! One day as I was again considering this, I thought to try and define joy by determining its opposite, its antonym. Almost immediately, the word “depression” came to mind. With this thought came the answer to the meaning of joy.

    Everyone knows what depression is. It’s that funky-kinda-gloom that hangs around a person like a cloud—the Eeyore-syndrome (from Winnie the Pooh). Though there might be moments of happiness, the person is typically sad. Some people are so depressed that they don’t even have moments of happiness. It’s a hopeless, faithless, fearful, anxious-filled, emotional pattern of sadness. DEPRESSION! At the drop of a hat, a depressed person is offended, cries, gets angry, or is tempted to respond in some other negative manner.

    The lights came on and I understood what joy is. Joy is an abiding sense of happiness! It’s a bright, sunshine-filled emotional pattern of happiness—the Tigger-syndrome. Though there might be moments or seasons of sadness, even these are tempered with a confident expectation that the sun will soon return piercing the darkness caused by the passing clouds. Joyful people are typically happy. They smile and laugh a lot. Joy is the result of hope, faith, and love! Joyful people often smile and seem to breeze through difficult situations. They see problems as opportunities. The glass might be almost empty, but the joyful person will be thankful for the little they have, enjoy it thoroughly, and not fear it running out!

    Joy is an emotional pattern, an abiding sense of happiness! Understanding this helps us understand why “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Did you know that it is difficult to offend a joyful person? Joyful people let insults role off them like water off a duck’s back. There is a spring in their step and a light-heartedness that is contagious. When they do something, they do it with zest and vitality. Joy empowers a person to be loving, kind, gentle, and self-controlled, consistently denying our selfish tendencies.

    Why would so many “mature” Christians say that “joy is not happiness?” I think that it is an attempt at self-deception, in order to cover up our own lack of the fruit of the Spirit. It’s difficult to fake joy, especially to ourselves. We can convince ourselves that we’re being loving, kind, gentle, and exhibiting great self-control, even when we’re not. But it’s difficult to convince ourselves that we’re happy, when we know that we’re really sad, angry, or upset most of the time, or possibly not sad, but not happy either, just numb.

    There are also false religious beliefs that promote an austere, reserved, suspicious, judgmental, and even depressing attitude among believers. It is far too easy for Christians to fall into this twisted mindset. This type of religious person is not happy and is suspicious of anyone who is happy.

    I have often heard an acronym for JOY being: “J” is for having Jesus first in your life. “O” is for placing Others second; and “Y” is for placing Yourself last. There is a lot of truth in this simple acronym. If we put Jesus first in our lives, joy is a natural byproduct which empowers us to really love others and love ourselves.

    So, how full of joy are you? Are you typically happy, sad, or just existing? Joy is a vital aspect of the fruit of the Spirit; so be filled with the Holy Spirit today!
  6. Sherman ... your whole post has many nuggets of truth so it is hard to define which one to pull out . But I definately like the J O Y. that is a really good defination .

    I think when I look at Joy in this sense , then joy is more to the Christian than happiness . Worldly people can be happy but a Christian has the joy of the Lord deep down inside in their heart so that they know that Jesus loves them and that we can rest in Him knowing He will take care of us .

    Job 6:10
    Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

    Look at Job ... In spite of all he was going through he could still say he had joy. Because his joy came for the Lord . and that to me is the difference.
  7. I like what smellycat said, true happiness (and joy, I think) comes from ignoring evil. A lot of the unhappiness in the world is the result of peoples' sins. The ones who make the effort to avoid sin also avoid the problems that sin brings. Maybe joy could also mean contentment, peace of mind.
  8. Joy is unlike happiness, for joy is independent of current conditions or circumstances in which Christians will encounter. However, when we (Christians) sin against God, we cause a temporary breach in our fellowship with God and find no Joy until such is reconciled. Such was the feeling David had after his sin with Bathsheba:

    Psalms 51:12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

    A loving God love us (His children) too much to allow Joy in the mist of unconfessed Sin.

    Hebrews 12:6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    Good Day and God Bless
  9. Amen ... illinigag .... exactly what I was trying to say . Complete joy comes from the Lord and is inner and happiness is an outward sign .

    Non- Christians cannot have joy ... The joy of the Lord.
  10. I was reading in Luke where when Mary went to visit Elizabeth both of these ladies had the Holy Spirit upon them and when Mary came in to greet Elizabeth , the baby in her womb jumped for joy . Luke 1:44...
    44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

    So that confirms to me that Joy and happiness are not the same thing .

    Happiness is an outward sign where as Joy is from within. and given to us by the Holy Spirit.
  11. Dusty, I think you've hit the nail right on the head. That's it exactly.
  12. HEBREWS 12v8 says.....Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all of God's children share then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons.

    v11 says....for the time being no discipline brings joy but afterwards.......

    I believe when we go through heart-breaking trials, and disciplines what we have that keeps us afloat and what non-christians do not have is Hope. Hope in a merciful loving God who has this situation in the palm of his hands, and is ultimately working it for good.

    This has been my experience.
  13. The Greek word translated as joy in Galatians is chara. This kind of joy needs an object, so it is joy in something or joy at something. It can equally be translated as delight.

    So our joy is in Christ and because of our Salvation. This we can never lose.

    We should also note that the fruit of the Spirit is mainly concerned with our attitudes that enhance our personal relations - see the context of Chapter 5 - it is on freedom. We do not have freedom to indulge the flesh. v. 13. We do not have freedom to lord it over our neighbours. v13b and 15. We do not have freedom to disregard the law of love. v.14.

    What we do have is liberty in Christ and must never be drawn again into bondage. 5.1, or turn it into licence. 5.13.

    What we do have by God's grace is the aid of the Spirit in acquiring the fruit of the Spirit which show a Christian attitude to God and to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our love first of all is to God. Our joy is the same as his - Christ through whom we have peace with God.

    Thus we may then acquire the other fruit of the Spirit which come from these first three, patience, kindness, goodness towards others, and faithfulness, gentleness and self control which are the inward virtues of the man or woman who has acquired the former six.

    God bless us as we learn together.
  14. Jeanann ... Thanks for that .

    Wow , that verse "the joy of the Lord is our strength" really comes alive. So to me this joy is a divine joy that no one can take away from us because we are grafted into the Vine , Christ Jesus .

    Hallelujah .... praise the Lamb .
  15. From the Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament:
    Joy, Joyfulness, Joyfully, Joyous

    A. Nouns.
    1. chara (G5479), "joy, delight" (akin to chairo, "to rejoice"), is found frequently in Matthew and Luke, and especially in John, once in Mark (Mar_4:16, RV, "joy," KJV, "gladness"); it is absent from 1 Cor. (though the verb is used three times), but is frequent in 2 Cor., where the noun is used five times (for 2Co_7:4, RV, see Note below), and the verb eight times, suggestive of the apostle's relief in comparison with the circumstances of the 1st Epistle; in Col_1:11, KJV, "joyfulness," RV, "joy." The word is sometimes used, by metonymy, of the occasion or cause of "joy," Luk_2:10 (lit., "I announce to you a great joy"); in 2Co_1:15, in some mss., for charis, "benefit"; Phi_4:1, where the readers are called the apostle's "joy"; so 1Th_2:19, 1Th_2:20; Heb_12:2, of the object of Christ's "joy"; Jam_1:2, where it is connected with falling into trials; perhaps also in Mat_25:21, Mat_25:23, where some regard it as signifying, concretely, the circumstances attending cooperation in the authority of the Lord. See also the Note following No. 3.
    Note: In Heb_12:11, "joyous" represents the phrase meta, "with," followed by chara, lit., "with joy." So in Heb_10:34, "joyfully"; in 2Co_7:4 the noun is used with the middle voice of huperperisseuo, "to abound more exceedingly," and translated "(I overflow) with joy," RV (KJV, "I am exceeding joyful").

    2. agalliasis (G20), "exultation, exuberant joy." Cf. B, No. 3, below. See GLADNESS.

    3. euphrosune (G2167) is rendered "joy" in the KJV of Act_2:28, RV, "gladness," as in Act_14:17. See GLADNESS.
    Note: "Joy" is associated with life, e.g. 1Th_3:8, 1Th_3:9. Experiences of sorrow prepare for, and enlarge, the capacity for "joy," e.g., Joh_16:20; Rom_5:3, Rom_5:4; 2Co_7:4; 2Co_8:2; Heb_10:34; Jam_1:2. Persecution for Christ's sake enhances "joy," e.g., Mat_5:11, Mat_5:12; Act_5:41. Other sources of "joy" are faith, Rom_15:13; Phi_1:25; hope, Rom_5:2 (kauchaomai, see B, No. 2); Rom_12:12 (chairo, see B, No. 1); the "joy" of others, Rom_12:15, which is distinctive of Christian sympathy. Cf. 1Th_3:9. In the OT and the NT God Himself is the ground and object of the believer's "joy," e.g., Psa_35:9; Psa_43:4; Isa_61:10; Luk_1:47; Rom_5:11; Phi_3:1; Phi_4:4.

    B. Verbs.
    1. chairo (G5463), "to rejoice, be glad," is translated "joyfully" in Luk_19:6, lit., "rejoicing"; "we joyed," 2Co_7:13; "I joy," Phi_2:17; "do ye joy," Phi_2:18; "joying," Col_2:5; "we joy," 1Th_3:9. It is contrasted with weeping and sorrow, e.g., in Joh_16:20, Joh_16:22; Rom_12:15; 1Co_7:30 (cf. Psa_30:5). See FAREWELL, GLAD, GREETING, HAIL, REJOICE.

    2. kauchaomai (G2744), "to boast, glory, exult," is rendered "we joy," in Rom_5:11, KJV (RV, "we rejoice"). It would have been an advantage to translate this word distinctively by the verbs "to glory" or "to exult."

    3. agalliao (G21), "to exult, rejoice greatly," is translated "with exceeding joy" in 1Pe_4:13 (middle voice), lit., "(ye rejoice, chairo) exulting." Cf. A, No. 2. See GLAD, REJOICE.

    4. oninemi (G3685), "to benefit, profit," in the middle voice, "to have profit, derive benefit," is translated "let me have joy" in Phm_1:20 (RV marg., "help"); the apostle is doubtless continuing his credit and debit metaphors and using the verb in the sense of "profit."

  16. Or to put it simpler:

    From the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:
    From H2302; rejoicing: - gladness, joy.

    And Webster's Dictionary:

    JOY, n.

    1. The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune,the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits.

    Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.

    Bring heavenly balm to heal my country's wounds,

    Joy to my soul and transport to my lay.

    2. Gayety; mirth; festivity.

    The roofs with joy resound.

    3. Happiness; felicity.

    Her heavenly form beheld, all wished her joy.

    4. A glorious and triumphant state.

    --Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross. Heb 12.

    5. The cause of joy or happiness.

    For ye are our glory and joy. 1 Th 2.

    6. A term of fondness; the cause of you.

    JOY, v.i. To rejoice; to be glad; to exult.

    I will joy in the God of my salvation. Hab 3.

    JOY, v.t. To give joy to; to congratulate; to entertain kindly.

    1. To gladden; to exhilarate.

    My soul was joyed in vain.

    2. To enjoy; to have or possess with pleasure, or to have pleasure in the possession of. [Little used. See Enjoy.]

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