Galatians 5:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
When I accepted Jesus at age 14 I was at a Baptist Bible Camp. Thanks to a junior high history teacher, who took the time to answer some of my questions, the stories I had learned in Sunday School became real. She set the Biblical history into the secular history I had been learning. When the Bible became real it took very little for me to understand that I needed to make a decision to be a follower of Christ.
The night I answered the alter call is one the most memorable nights of my life. I laughed so much that evening that the girls in my cabin all thought I was nuts. The reality was that I was filled with the joy of the Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit who had come to reside in my heart. No matter what has ever happened in my life that joy has not been quashed.
There have certainly been times that I was not walking in the ways of God and that joy was not made manifest in me. The Spirit cannot work in our lives when we are out of step with the will of Yahuah. But, when I am walking in the ways of the Lord then joy is manifest in me. One time when I was working in a small office there was a day in which only myself and the receptionist were in the office. She was not a believer, she was following some new age doctrine and it was not helping her. She was depressed and feeling worthless and laying her heart open to me. At that moment, the Holy Spirit took over my mouth and began to speak scriptures to her that told of her worth in the eyes of Yahuah. A prime example of why we need to hide the Word in our hearts. I barely remembered what I had said, but, the feeling of joy that dwelled in me for days to come is indescribable. To be an open and willing vessel to be used of God is the most joyful thing I’ve ever experienced. Even the birth of my children, in which there was much joy, comes in second to being used by the King of kings and Lord of lords, Elohim of elohim, Yahuah God. Nothing can even compare to the joy it brings. I am convinced that the joy I felt was God’s joy that I was willing to be a vessel and that he was able to minister to that young woman through me, his servant. Many years later, by accident, I actually found her on social media and she had come the Lord Yeshua and given her heart to him to serve him. Often we do not see the results of the seed that we plant, but, sometimes God will allow us to see the results of someone harvesting the seed we planted. What a wonderful gift that fills my heart with joy and gladness.
Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is our stronghold. In the Amplified it says strength and stronghold. When life gets rough we gain strength in the joy of the Lord that lives within us. When I have been faithful and diligent in attending to my own spiritual growth it does not matter the circumstances I find myself in, the joy of the Lord sees me through even the most difficult of times. That same joy allows me to give thanks and honor and glory to God in the abundant times.
Nothing compares to the joy of knowing Yeshua my Savior. Only through Jesus can we overcome the burdens that sin weighs upon our body and soul. When I’ve lived in disobedience my joy has been dampened and I am downcast because I know that I am not living as Yahuah desires for me. It is the free will that God gave me which allows me to let the world and Satan come into my life and ruin my joy. When I repent and return to the Lord then my joy is complete once again. Like Paul wrote to the Romans, in my flesh I am a slave to sin, but in my mind I am a slave to the law of God. Only through the death of my Savior on the cross am I free from that slavery to sin. When I repent and my sins are forgiven, not to be remembered or held against me, that allows the joy of the Lord to live in me. Repent and turn to Jesus, he is the only way to eternal life, the only way to have eternal joy.
Psalm 32:1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 How joyful is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
2 How joyful is the man
the Lord does not charge with sin
and in whose spirit is no deceit!
Romans 4:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
8 How joyful is the man
the Lord will never charge with sin!
Living in the will of God and having his joy within is not only a source for strength, but, for spiritual well being. It is healthy for us to be well spiritually. I truly believe that the source of many mental illnesses is not allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Without the joy of the Lord through his Spirit our lives can be excessively stressing. Stress causes a lot of the physical illnesses. It is estimated that 75% to 90% of all doctor visits are from stress related illness. Let the joy of the Lord be medicine to your body as well as your strength and stronghold.
Proverbs 17:22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Take to heart the benefits of accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us, repent of sin, believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross, was three days in the tomb, rose again on the third day over coming sin and death. Let Yeshua be the Lord of your life and give you his Holy Spirit that the fruit of the Spirit may be manifested in you for a joyful life here and eternal life with God.
Live joyfully in Christ Jesus,