Building Material: Joy
In my last Home Building post our building material was peace. Paul said, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6) Contentment is peace and when we are content and at peace it will bring us great freedom and joy. I believe that is what Paul means by great gain.”
Do you know that joy, joyous, and joyful are mentioned 177 times in the Bible? It’s an important word: Paul used it, James used it, Peter used it, and best of all Jesus used it.
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
What things was he talking about? He had just taught them that He was the True Heavenly Vine, they were the branches, and if they abided in His love, they would be heavenly fruit bearers and so glorify the Father. These are the things that cause Jesus’ joy to remain in us and cause our joy to be full. Abiding and obedience brings contentment, contentment and peace bring joy!
Joy, when my car breaks down on the freeway? Joy, when my son falls from the top of a bunk bed and ends up with a concussion? Joy, when my husband leaves me? James said, “Count it all joy …”
How can I do that?
You can do it because your satisfaction and contentment is not in your car or your son or your husband, but in God and Him alone.
Proverbs speaks of the joyful condition of the heart.
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22)..
All the days of the afflicted are evil,
but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15).
A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed (Proverbs 15:13).
A joyful heart is the best medicine; a cheerful heart has a continual feast of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; a glad heart makes a cheerful face displaying contagious smiles.
A crushed spirit is like dry bones, it is crushed by a sorrowful heart, and all the days of the afflicted are evil.
I don’t know about you, but I want a house filled with laughter. I want whoever enters to feel there is joy overflowing in the relationships of those who live there.
And we can spread and permeate our homes with this kind of joy.
Dear Sister, if you want a joyful home where smiles abound and laughter is common, fill yourself with the word of God and walk in the Spirit. If laughter comes from anything else it will be shallow.
If you are a child of God, The Holy Spirit in you produces the fruit of joy along with all the others (Galatians 5:22-23).
How does this joy get released? How can we be diffusers of this precious celestial commodity? How do we fill ourselves up, so we can fill our houses full?
Spend time with Jesus
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
Daughter of Zion, look at this command to be joyful. When was the last time you shorted for joy? When this was written they were looking forward to Messiah coming. Now, he has come! He has come to us!
Joy is found in his presence. .
How do we come into his presence?
Through his word and the Spirit. Get alone, open the word, pray for the Spirit to fill you with knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9-11), and to make Jesus beautiful to you. That is a prayer the Holy Spirit will joyfully answer.
When we are filled up with Jesus we find joy in:
– In salvation (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
-In giving good Biblical advice (Proverbs 15:23)
– In being peacemakers (Proverbs 12:20).
– In seeing that justice is done (as you have opportunity and ability)
– In answered prayer (John 16:24)
– In strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
The Kingdom of God is full of it.
Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
In the last Home Building post I talked about it’s not your meal preparation, or the food, or the expensive imported china, but your heart that makes a good meal.
So, serve your meals with peace and joy and see how much better everyone’s digestion gets.
What does this joy look like?
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1:8).
Our joy is inexpressible and filled with glory.
At forty-four, for the first time, I saw a group of happy Christians. It was overwhelming to me. I hadn’t met Jesus yet, but I knew I wanted what they had. I now recognize they had joy. What we really can’t explain with words radiates out from our being. Christians who are filled with inexpressible joy have a heavenly halo.
There are many more Scriptures about joy, but I don’t have time, nor the space, nor the mental ability to address them all. Do a word study for yourself. Look up all the verses in the Bible that speak of joy. It’s amazing. You don’t have to read them all. Just bask in God’s passion for your joy and happiness.
These verses can be summed up in this direct command.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).
Our mission is to translate all this joy into our homes. We all like to be around people with a sense of humor. Some of us are more humor challenged than others. Science seems to be saying there is a genetic component to it, but of course, there is also the nurture aspect to it. We may or may not be genetically disposed to having a sense of humor, but it is also a learned behavior.
Wherever you are on the humor scale, if you have Jesus’ joy in you, you can make your home a joyful place.
Out of that joy, practice making people laugh. Find some clean jokes to tell your kids. Teach them to be humorous. It isn’t a sin for a Christian to be funny.
Let me clarify, we are warned to, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). We know to guard against the kind of humor Paul is talking about.
So Dear Sister, lighten up! Steep yourself with Jesus’ joy. Spread it around your house. Diffuse it into your conversations. Teach your children to laugh properly.