What does “joy” mean to you? If you’re a follower of God, is that a “joyful” experience? Always? If you’re not, can you still say your life is “joy-filled”? Always? Joy. Joyful. Joy-filled. What does that even mean?
From a Christian perspective, I’m taking “joy” as from the fruits of the spirit described by Paul in Galatians:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. (AMP)
From a Merriam-Webster perspective, “joy” is described as:
1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion.
2: a state of happiness or felicity; bliss
3: a source or cause of delight
The Amplified version of the Bible also uses the word “gladness”:
1: archaic : having a cheerful or happy disposition by nature
2 a: experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight. b: made pleased, satisfied, or grateful.
3 a: marked by, expressive of, or caused by happiness and joy. b: causing happiness and joy; pleasant
4: full of brightness and cheerfulness
Would others use these descriptors of you? Does that sound like your walk with God? Does that sound, in general, like your walk through life? Why, or why not? Take a moment to examine your reaction to those definitions in light of scripture. Substitute a few other words; delight, pleasure, grateful(ness), cheerfulness.
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