Most people I know want to be happy. In fact, in our culture there’s a prevalent idea that “I have a right (or deserve) to be happy. I don’t hear many people saying “I want to be joyful”, yet most of us would agree that we want to experience joy on a regular basis.
Personally, I like being happy AND being filled with joy. However, happiness is usually a by-product of circumstances. Circumstances change – I have no control over them, but I do have some measure of control over joy! I know – I know … We have no real control over life, but I have peace in the fact that my life is in God’s hands & He is in control. What I mean by saying I have some control over my joy is that joy is the result of a life submitted to Jesus Christ. And joy is an attitude you cannot take from me even when my circumstances are bad.
Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:11 NASB). “THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE MADE FULL” is a way cool condition that Jesus promises to produce in us, but we do have some responsibility in this.
Read John 15:1-10 and you’ll get an idea of HOW TO BE FILLED WITH JOY. It has to do with living in the closest possible relationship with Jesus – allowing His Word to permeate your life – choosing to do what He says in His Word – and bearing fruit (for His Kingdom not your own).
By the way, a sign that you are truly abiding in (living in community / fellowship / closeness with) Jesus is bearing fruit….and going to church all your life – becoming what you consider to be deep – attending tons of Bible studies – doesn’t mean you are bearing fruit. Those things are all important, but if you’re not doing what Christ said – you won’t bear fruit. In addition, Jesus said we can know we’re truly following Him when we have love for one another; so how’s you attitude toward other followers of Christ? What kind of speech do you use when talking about them?
I agree with Pastor Robert Morris who says as followers of Christ we don’t have a right to be happy – we have a right to be like Jesus and the more like Jesus we become the happier we’ll be. Actually, the more joyful we’ll be!
And who is this “Robert Morris” fellow? And where
did he say those words ?
Great post. I think we all deal with this one from time to time. Karl, Robert Morris is the pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas http://www.gatewaypeople.com/