More Abundant Joy
What does joy look like? Is it the laugh of a baby when they are sleeping? Is it the feeling of walking off an airplane after a turbulent ride? Is joy the feeling of giving birth to a healthy child or the first kiss after you say “I Do”? Is it watching your child take their first steps or closing on your first home? Does joy have one singular source at all times or does it come from all angles and just magically appear? And what, if anything, can cause joy to remain?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
“The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy; I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We began this series by defining the more abundant life as an existence in Christ that is overflowing with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We then stated that there are three attributes for walking in the more abundant life: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
So far, we learned that righteousness is living your life in line with God's will, by his power, and not our own. We also learned that peace is the inner tranquility and poise of the believer whose trust is in God through Jesus Christ. This peace is not an absence of trouble, but rather a result of trusting him in a way that gives us comfort and courage to face trouble.
Now we will conclude our series with how to experience joy in the Holy Spirit. Joy in the Holy Spirit is an emotion of profound happiness that comes from the Spirit of God. Jesus came to bring joy to the world, especially to those who would believe in Him. Because of a deep, inward excitement about the blessings of God, joy produces outward expressions of praise. Sincere expressions of joy, along with God’s righteousness, are the outward evidence of the abundant life.
Why is this joy important? The Bible states in James 1:2-3 (NKJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” And Hebrews 12:2 states,“...for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…”
Joy is important because it gets us through the difficult moments of life. Joy the outward expression of an internal assurance of God’s ability to see you through. It is confidence that the challenges you now face are not in vain, but that there are great rewards that await you as a result of your obedience. You possess joy when you believe He sees you and intimately knows your needs in every situation. He is with you and on your side even when circumstances are beyond your control. He promises to work all things for good, and He is faithful. What great happiness and joy to have confidence in his nearness and his promises!
A lack of joy says that you are not confident that you will make it and there is no reward for your suffering. You cannot lack joy in the Holy Spirit and experience the abundant life. This is critical since the more abundant life is a blessed life; it is an exciting life; it is a life that is completely dependent on the vine, Jesus.
Ask yourself, how do I experience joy in the Holy Spirit?
Ask yourself, as a kingdom business steward, how do I know I have joy in the Holy Spirit?
- Ask the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit
- Seek God’s wisdom to handle trials with joy and hope
- Choose obedience to God’s Word
- Assure myself of His promises, even during difficult times
There is no greater moment than now to walk in this attribute of joy. While the world is anxious and afraid of the political and economic uncertainty, kingdom business stewards allow the limitation of credit, the loss of contracts and clients, the cash flow challenges, and the reduction in our investments to cultivate patience in us. Patience produces godly character. In times like this, we are challenged to conform to God’s Word like never before. We spend more time drawing near to him and experiencing deeper fellowship with him. As a result, our faith, trust, and joy increase and mature. We rejoice because we know that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” - 2 Corinthians 4:17.
- I exemplify the fruit of the Spirit in times of pressure
- I persevere through trials and challenges
- I rejoice in the midst of difficulties
- I choose obedience to God’s instructions no matter the cost
My prayer for you is that the Lord will cause you to walk in the more abundant life this year like never before, that you will be immune from the ups and downs of the economy, that your business will prosper in midst of lack, that he will work everything together for your good, and your existence will always be found in Him. May He give you the wisdom to manage any crisis or challenge that comes your way, and may He prosper the works of your hands. I pray that He will show you favor with your customers, vendors, creditors, and employees. Above all, I pray that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit will be the evidence and testimony—to you and others—of the abundant life of Christ in you.
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