Always Be Joyful?

Always Be Joyful?

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-18 NLT

There’s always something to be joyful about, prayerful about, and thankful about. This is God’s will for us who belong to Jesus. How cool. Following this next verse will help us stay in a joyful, prayerful, thankful frame of mind:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV

God tells us to, “think on these things:” honest things, pure things, true things, etcetera. That means we have the power to choose our thoughts. Yes, we have lots of control over what goes on in our minds. Our brain is very powerful. God created it such. We don’t have to walk around depressed, miserable, and hopeless. We can have an abundant joyful life even in this wicked world. We just have to change the way we think.

JESUS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 KJV

Did you know that the definition of the Greek word for, “Repent,” in Matthew 4:17 means to change one’s mind for the better? It also means to make amends with abhorrence for one’s past sins, to think differently. I know people personally who have done this and have experienced for myself that until you do this you cannot have a joyful, thankful, state of mind. Yes, your spiritual and mental health is connected to you being honest about your past. This includes being truthful about morally wrong decisions.

Whenever a person obeys Jesus’ message to repent they are healed on the inside. They become a new person. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Their entire outlook on life changes. That’s what the word “Repent” means; to change your way of thinking. But it also includes abhorring one’s past sins. When people repent they can admit their former deeds that offended Almighty God. They’re not proud of them but they don’t sugarcoat them either. This affects the soul in a most positive way. When we sincerely pray to God asking Him for forgiveness He let’s us know that ALL OF OUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN. When we come to God and our desire to repent is real, he also accepts us into His family. We’re adopted as children of God. (Colossians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:5-8) Now that the barrier (sin) has been removed the believer in God through Jesus Christ has direct access to Him! God is the source of all Joy! And believers in Him are connected directly to the source! People can get happy about one thing or another. But only God gives lasting joy to His children. Joy is a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

And who gets God’s Holy Spirit?

“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:32 NIV

Are we starting to see the picture? Since God gives His Spirit to those who obey him, and since Joy (and many other good things) is the product of the Holy Spirit, all we must do is make it our goal to obey God. In doing so we will receive His Spirit, His JOY (and many other good things). This doesn’t mean we won’t have problems in life. Jesus plainly said we would:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

When you belong to Jesus you can still have joy even in the midst of your troubles, yes! How is that so? Because you don’t think the same way you use to when you were without Christ. Your whole outlook is changed. God’s children learn not to focus so much on their troubles. Jesus teaches us how to focus on what our trials mean:

“BLESSED are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. “BLESSED ARE YOU when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. REJOICE AND BE GLAD, because GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 NIV

“CONSIDER IT PURE JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be MATURE AND COMPLETE, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV

People who TRULY follow Jesus teachings are not nut cases. They are some of the most stable people in the world. Would you call somebody crazy who treats you with the same dignity and respect they want to be treated with? (Luke 6:31) Maybe you would call someone nuts who is taught to love their enemies and actually does it. (Luke 6:32-36) But if you interviewed a slew of them and found out how much drama they avoid, and how many health problems they are free from that are caused by stress, and holding grudges, you might change your mind.

God’s formula for lasting Joy and peace remains. It is found in Jesus Christ. If you have already found Him (or more correctly He allowed you to find Him) obey Him as ruler and keep experiencing His Joy.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Lastly let me say this: there’s the misconception that having joy means you walk around with a smile on your face all the time. And the word, “Jesus,” comes out of your mouth every 5 minutes. That’s not what God’s joy means. The joy described in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 means to be glad, to be well, to rejoice exceedingly, to thrive​. It is a calm happiness. It means to be spiritually well off.

Please share this with a friend

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