Joy Filled - Being Like Jesus Series #6

Joy Filled  When can you say was the last time you were full of joy despite your circumstances? Now I'm not talking about being at Disneyland or at a party, I'm talking about in your daily life. When was joy just busting out of you?
We have been talking about being like Christ in our series and this means that we also need to understand what it means to be joy filled because Jesus was consistently filled with joy. It was not the result of his circumstances because he was facing an uphill battle for the people to see him as the Messiah. His disciples were often disappointing to him and he was also facing the daunting end of a terrible death on a cross. However, Luke identifies him as "full of joy through the Holy Spirit." (Luke 10:21) So how could we be joy filled like him?
We must recognize that joy is an inward ability to be content in all situations and an inward exhilaration of the spirit, not the soul or the body. It is not produced by circumstances (that is happiness) but is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is our spirit connecting with God the Spirit and joy flowing from Him to us. It is a natural occurrence in the spiritual realm of our life when we are in fellowship with God.
We see it mentioned as "given" in relationship to suffering, "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit." (1 Thess. 1:6) These people were "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10) and that doesn't happen in your soul when you are in the midst of negative circumstances. Joy and sorrow can abide together but sadness and happiness cannot.
Jesus said to his disciples, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 5:11) Jesus' joy, given to him by the Holy Spirit, is the joy he wants us to have and he wants it to "be complete" or total, continually experienced in our spirit no matter what's going on in our circumstances. This is one of the evidences that make a believer stand out in their community. He/she is a person that is joy filled.
Obtaining joy starts with obtaining Jesus, then, by being obedient to the teachings of Scripture and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This causes us to live above our circumstances not under them and is how to experience the same joy that Jesus and the first century Christians had. Are you ready to be joy filled?

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