According to Hebrews 1:9 and Isaiah 61:3, Jesus is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. He was the most joyful, glad, thankful, happy person that ever lived. Yes, he was the man of sorrows also, but I believe that was when he was taking our sin to the cross. (Isaiah 53) He lived a pure and holy life, not touched by sin. We can’t even imagine a life like that. We can taste a little bit of that down here now that we are freed from sin and alive unto God. But, to know a whole life without sin would be amazing! Jesus came to set us free and to give us life!
At Bible study the other day, we were discussing if we could walk closer to the Lord than Adam did in the garden. Adam didn’t know what sin was, and he walked with the Lord in the cool of day. We have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us. We have access to the throne room of God. I suppose Adam could have had a closer walk, only because he knew nothing of sin. However, I think it’s close. The point is that we are freed from this world. We are to be like Christ and be full of joy. In fact, joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit. We don’t try and make fruit, it is something that happens because we are Christians. So, what are some reasons that we are lacking joy in our lives?
If there is a lack of joy in your life, it might be because you are trying to please someone or something. We join groups and try to meet the standards that others have in the group. Some of these things can be good if they come from a relationship with the Lord and built upon conviction. For example, say one decides to not have a television in their home. That is all well and good if it comes from the Lord leading that person. However, if you throw out the television because your church or friends say you should, you are now trying to please man. We have way too many people in churches today “trying” to live up to a standard that is put upon them. Trying to please men, church, or an organization will leave you frustrated, unfulfilled, and joyless.
Being unthankful is a sign that you believe you deserve something better. We can easily take things for granted and start to expect things from people or God. If you look at Romans chapter one carefully, you will notice that before Paul goes into his long list of sins, there are two sins that most people overlook. Verse 21 says, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful.” They did not glorify God, and they were not thankful. Be assured that when we stop glorifying God and being thankful, sin is not too far behind.
I have never met a thankful person that wasn’t also joyful. Having an “attitude of gratitude” is probably the best way to find joy. When you are full of thanks, you start to really appreciate all the things and people around you, and it might even put a smile on your face.
Need to Get Saved?
It is not my intention to judge anyone’s salvation. Having said that, we must be honest with ourselves and look in the mirror when we ask, “Who am I?” Joy is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Now when we talk about fruit, a lot of people will take each attribute as an individual fruit. But the Bible doesn’t say that. God lumps love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance all together as a single fruit.
Who produces the fruit? Do we? Or does the Spirit? An apple tree does not produce oranges, and an orange tree does not produce apples. We all know that very well, however, when it comes to spiritual things we get all confused and make all kinds of excuses. A “Spirit tree” isn’t going to produce the works of the flesh. A “Spirit tree” will produce the fruit of the Spirit. An apple tree does not even try to produce apples, but it just does because that is what it is. Maybe part of the frustration is that a person who is not born of the Spirit is trying to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Christians produce the fruit of the Spirit because they are Christ’s. He does the work in us, and it should be obvious.
This is not to condemn those that are lacking in joy, but we need to find out why there is a lack. It could be as simple as giving up manmade standards and serving Christ only. Or we need to become more thankful. Or maybe you need to give up on your pride and cease from dead works and be born again.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”