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Saturday, 9 February 2019

What is Joy?

This morning I opened my Bible to where 'praying in the Spirit' was being spoken of, so I prayed in the Spirit regarding what I should write about next.
I have several draft posts which are unfinished which I hope to put up later, but two comments have been left recently on a post I put up several years ago. So I have decided for now to re post this one:-
What is 'joy'?

Joy to the natural mind is doing the things that bring pleasure.  I get a lot of pleasure out of nature, and taking photographs.  I love animals and birds and get tremendous pleasure from their presence in my daily life, and I get pleasure from painting, writing
and many other things that I do.

Yes, we tend to use the
word 'joy' when we talk about the pleasures of this life, and there is nothing
wrong in that.

What of the meaning of 'joy' in God's eyes?

My dictionary tells me that 'joy' means 'excitement or stimulation of pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of good'.  As a christian I know that there is, in God's eyes, an established good and an established evil, and I must learn, through the Holy Spirit's teachings, to discern between the two.

Good and evil

Is it by choice or predestined, that we do good or evil? What is good, what is evil, where is the plumb line? Is my evil somebody else's good, is my good somebody else's evil? To whom somebody else's evil is good, then it is good. To whom somebody else's good is evil then it is evil. To establish a common good or a common evil there must be a plumb line. Without a plumb line there is no such thing as good or evil - only chaos.

Proverb ch.15 v.21 says that, 'Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly',  so where do I find true joy that will not come from folly, and how do I tell the difference?  First of all, in order to experience fully the kind of joy that is mentioned in the Bible, the kind that Nehemiah spoke of as being a strength in Nehemiah ch.8 v.10,  I must have a knowledge of what walking uprightly is in God's eyes.  Just as Nehemiah had given understanding to the people of God concerning what was walking uprightly in God's eyes when the people were under the law, the Holy Spirit will give understanding of what is walking uprightly in God's eyes to we who are not under the law but who are under God's grace.  Otherwise we will be deceived, and have a substitute joy which will be derived from what is good in our own eyes, but maybe not in God's eyes.

In the book of Jeremiah ch.15 v16 Jeremiah says to God 'Thy words were found, and I ate them , and Thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Thy name O Lord God of hosts.'
We see by this account that it is God's words that became a joy, but only after Jeremiah 'ate' them, so God's words acted upon (eaten) become an 'excitement or stimulation of pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of 'good'.  So the christian can be sure that as he or she seeks God's word in their lives, what God speaks to each individual will become a joy and the delight of the heart if that word is acted upon.

I can truly say that when God speaks to or instructs me from His word personally, though I may not always understand it or my carnal mind will advise against it, if I believe it and, when required, act upon it, it brings about good - a good which surpasses all that I could imagine.   In John ch.14 v.15,  Jesus says to those who believe in Him 'If you love me keep my commands .   And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.'

It is always my choice whether I do what He asks or not, but how can I claim to love Him and not do what He asks?

Not because.........

I love You Lord                                             
not because I must
for 'must' comes out of fear
and Your perfect love casts out fear

I serve You Lord
not for what I can get
for 'get' comes out of greed
and You make me able to be content
with little as well as much

I follow You Lord
not because there is no other path I can take
for You have allowed me to try every path
and I can see.....
that what appears to be a broad path
leads to a confined space
but what appears to be a narrow path
leads out into a broad place

Simon Peter answered Him 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life: and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.' John ch.6 vs.68,69

Ecclesiastes ch.2 v.26 says that God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to the man who pleases Him. So we need to find out what pleases God in order to experience this God given joy.
Wisdom, knowledge and joy will be given freely to us if our intentions are to seek to please God and walk in His ways, but as His ways and thoughts differ from ours,  Isaiah ch.55 v.8 says   'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord',   we cannot possibly please Him without revelation from the Holy Spirit first on how to do this.  This is why it has to be the Holy Spirit that teaches us, because 1 Corinthians ch.2 v.11 says that 'no man knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God'.  1John ch.2 reads 'but the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you; as His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in Him.'

James ch.1 v.2 tells us to 'count it all joy' when we meet various trials.  James goes on to say that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness and to 'let steadfastness have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.'  So to the christian these trials are necessary and good.  Walking in the Spirit may not always appear to be a bed of roses but it's fragrance will be every bit as beautiful  and much longer lasting than walking according to the flesh, or carnal mind.  We are encouraged to continue to walk in the Spirit, running the race that is set before us, in Hebrews ch.12 v.2 where we are told to 'look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.'  If we do as we are encouraged here we will never have to endure what Jesus endured but, Glory to God, we will share in the joy that was set before Him.

The necessity of the ' Chief cashier's signature'

One day I found a part of a ten pound note on my bedroom carpet.  I could not think where it came from and was going to throw it in the bin.  My husband said 'I think you can claim a whole ten pound note if you take it to the bank.'  I said 'I don't think so', but phoned the bank and explained what had happened and what my husband had said.  The young man on the phone told me to pick up a form from the bank, fill it in and send it off to the bank of England.  The form asked for details of what had happened to the note.  I put down that I did not have a clue, told them what my husband had said, and sent it off with the part of the ten pound note.  For the price of a stamp it was worth enquiring.  I had a very nice letter back saying that as there was only fifteen percent of the note found, no chief cashier's signature and no promissory clause, they were unable to pay out, which I thought was fair enough.

I think probably the piece of the ten pound note may have come in on my shoe from outside, but the whole incident, including the words contained in the return letter, made me think of how there will be no joy set before those who are outside of the kingdom of God, who having only the part of the note, so to speak, hearing about God but not knowing Jesus.  For without the Chief cashier's signature, the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives, there is no promissory clause, no guarantee of eternal life.  The 'I promise to pay' is on the other part, the part with the Chief cashier's signature on.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in enjoying the things on this Earth that give pleasure, God has given us those things to enjoy, the natural things and things that can be bought with money.
True riches can only be found in Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that we are denied our heart's desire in the things that we love in this life also, it depends which we put first.   However, all the money in the world will never buy us the salvation and eternal life that God's Son has purchased for us.  God help those who don't know this if we don't share the joy of the Gospel of Jesus with them.


What good is my gold if I don't have You
what use is my earthly treasure
all it can buy is a dream or two
a moment of worldly pleasure
What use is it if I have jewels and fine clothes
and I cut with a silver knife
if all of these things fall apart and decay
with my soul at the end of this life
No I'd rather have treasure in Heaven
gathered in barns of trust
than to have all the gold on this earth Lord
and my soul to return to the dust
Yes I'd rather have You Lord Jesus
You're worth far more than gold to me
for gold's only good for a lifetime
but You ....... for eternity

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.        Matthew ch.6 vs. 19-21


Sandi said...

It is good to see this again. Bless you, Brenda.

"that what appears to be a broad path
leads to a confined space
but what appears to be a narrow path
leads out into a broad place"

Isn't that the truth...

Brenda said...

Hi Sandi,
it was so amazing that you was one of the two people to visit my 2012 post of this subject 'joy' after I had prayed in the Spirit what to put up. God's Spirit is amazing, and it was good for me to be encouraged by the Holy Spirit to re post, as the scriptures contained there were encouraging to me once again. The part regarding the 'broad and narrow spaces' is absolutely true.
God bless you Sandi.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Brenda,
Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and I think it's different from being happy.
Joy comes, to my experience, when I help someone, even sacrificially, for the benefit of the other person. If the other person is thankful and I can see that he is blessed as a result of my effort, this can be a source of joy. However, if the person helped remains thankless and shows no appreciation, then joy can still be felt, the joy that is supernatural, coming from the Holy Spirit.
Haman the Agagite felt happy as he returned home from the banquet (Esther 5:9-10). But his happiness was cut short and turned to anger when he saw Morcadai sitting there. That kind of happiness is circumstantial and is not the joy of the Holy Spirit.
A well-written post,
God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
So much to think about here, and such beautiful poems. I love the phrase "barns of trust." As Frank said, joy in the Lord comes from knowing Him, from knowing that whatever trials we are going through here, they will pass in a fleeting moment, revealing the Holy City where we shall experience true joy with Jesus forever.
Thanks as always for the great post, and may God bless you,

Brenda said...

Hi Frank, you are absolutely right. Our 'joy' comes from pleasing the Lord, and doing what is right in His eyes. Even if sometimes the person that is on the receiving end of any action of joy does not receive it well that does not matter, because if we have done what we believe is right in the Lord's eyes then that action will benefit that situation.
God bless you and Alex.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
yes that is so true Laurie, joy comes absolutely from knowing the Lord, and even trials are part and parcel of that,whether to test us or increase our patience - they are all for a reason and have a joyful end. Thank you for your kind comment, and God bless you too Laurie.

Jephyr! said...

Beautiful post, poetry and photos, Brenda. I loved the analogy of the ten pound note—and our need for the "Chief cashiers signature." I think of ancient Israel and how the bible tells us that "everyone did what was right in their own mind" (Judges 21:25) and how that ended in devastation for them. We're seeing that epitomized in the world today and unfortunately the church as well. Reading God's word is so vital to keep us on track. In 2 Kings 22, it tells us that when King Josiah read the scripture that the people had forgotten he tore his robs realizing how far they were from serving God and why His judgement was upon them. Thank you so much for a beautiful reminder about the real source of our joy—Jesus! God's Blessings and continued healing on you—in the name of Jesus! Amen!

Jephyr! said...

* King Josiah tore his robes :)

Brenda said...

Hi Jephyr,
Thank you for your lovely comment. You actually came over to my blog post on this in 2012 and left a comment. You are absolutely right about things being repeated in this world according to scriptural incidents. Our only safety is to allow God's Word to guide us, and I agree that even the tribes and individuals of old reflect the world today, including churches. God does not live in a house made with hands, He lives within individuals through His Word when we are followers of Christ Jesus. He understands we are flesh and make mistakes and that is why that Word is a living Word in our lives, to help us and to teach us His ways with the Holy Spirit to guide us.I have written the two scriptures you have quoted down and I am going to read them later to get a catch up.
Thank you for your prayers Jephyr, God bless you.

Brenda said...

BTW Jephyr,
the pics were from where we lived in South Wales, the swans from a national park and the rose, called Fragrant cloud, from my garden.

Jephyr! said...

You're so welcome, Brenda. 2012! Wow...time flies. :) Your photos are lovely and add so much to your post! I was glad to read in your comments recently you were feeling better—and you have my continued prayers. God's blessings on you and your family!

Brenda said...

Yes, feeling better than I was Jephyr. Thank you for your continued prayers.

RCUBEs said...

Lots to digest in this post sister. Beautiful pics, poem and that analogy re: ten pound note? What truth! Being limited as we are, creatures, I can't find the right word to describe "joy". I just know it's a special gift from the good Lord. I saw it when my father was sick, lying on bed, waiting for his physical departure from this place... yet we, his children and him were constantly filled with laughter and "joy" so much so that everyone who visited was wondering why there was no atmosphere of sadness nor fear in his house. I saw "joy" when I brought a loved one to ER one time. Fear and uncertainties were gone once realization of His true and faithful promises flooded my heart! Joy crept in. In these trying times, many profess they know God (or not at all) but scary what the fruits of their labor is! It's scary that many call Him "Lord" and be denied entrance to His Kingdom in the end. That is my daily prayer... To have discernment. To walk in Spirit and truth. Only by His grace. And I always quote Isaiah 55:8,9 in my prayer. To Him be the glory forever. Blessings to you sister Brenda. May you always be strong in the Lord's mighty power!

Brenda said...

Hi the RCOBE,
thank you for your very interesting comment. As I have experience a near death experience, which I may have told you before, I believe that your father is probably in the place where I was taken to, the third heaven that Paul the apostle speaks about. As those verses in Isaiah go on to say, God's ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts and we can be so grateful that God does understand we are in a learning process as we seek the truth. Then we understand how God's Word becomes 'Joy' in our daily lives on earth.
God bless you RCOBE (I don't know what your name is so I have to call you by your blog name:-)

Keith said...

Yes, the joy of our Father is overflowing, when we allow the Word of God to transform us. Amen!!! I love making him smile.

RCUBEs said...

Sister Brenda, you may call me Rosel. RCUBEs is my initial. I was being careful not to disclose anything personal when I blogged more and I was working in Corrections at that time. I should have elaborated that when my dad was dying, through prayers, we felt His presence and my family and his sadness was replaced with indescribable joy. So, instead of tears of sadness, we were always crying in laughter ( my dad was a joker anyway). He said that he wanted that. For people to see the Lord's goodness and that instead of being sad, he wanted to remember the moment to be truly a celebration. Much, much later, as I pondered, I believed our hearts were filled with the imperishable hope that came only from the Lord. That no matter what trials we are going through, His gift of joy makes us overcome any of that. So, praise be to the Lord. My dad knew... I knew... that his physical passing wasn't an ending but only the beginning of an eternal life from our good Savior.

I think I also read your testimony when I first visited here. And I thought... "Wow! What indescribable experience!" And it may seem funny, but who on earth wouldn't wanna' go Home to the Lord if undergoing any dental procedure or tough surgical procedures? But kidding aside, how awesome that must be sister Brenda. To get a glimpse of what is to come!!! Truly an out of this world experience! (No pun intended ;)

Only if you have time... then I wanted to share this:

Brenda said...

Hi Keith,
that is so right. There is nothing I want more that to be transformed into His Spiritual image, and that Word has the ability to do that.

Brenda said...

Hi Rosel,
I absolutely believe that your dad had the same experience as mine and went to the same place that I was taken to, and it was his time to go there. With me it was not the time, but it is so wonderful a place that I can not imagine who would not want to go through the doorway to get there. It certainly is 'out of this world'. I will definitely look at the post you have left on your comment.
God bless you sister Rosel

Himawan Sant said...

I personally also believe that everything we do always accompanies.

God bless us all.

Brenda said...

Hi Himawan,
yes there is purpose in all that we do, and God blesses us all in Jesus when we learn His ways through Jesus.
God bless

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Praise the Lord that for those who are saved, there is joy even in (and perhaps especially in) the moment of death. We were blessed to attend a homegoing service last weekend for a dear saint who went home to be with the Lord at age 93. Amazingly, her (very musical) family were able to minister the entire service through joy-filled songs they sang and testimonies they gave. What a difference from those who die not knowing the Lord!
God bless you,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
I don't know if you have ever looked at 'near death experiences' on You tube but I have seen so many on there that are almost identical to mine, where the love and beauty in the place was indescribable. Many people were also told 'It's not time yet, you must go back.' The eternal life promised to those who believe in Jesus is truly amazing.
God bless you Laurie.

Himawan Sant said...

Hello too, Brenda.
Yes, I also believe that if we are always faithful in His way, He will love us more.
Even though it often disappoints us without realizing it or intentionally doing it, Jesus will never leave us ..

Brenda said...

Hi again Himawan,
I always think of Jesus as a shaft of light, it is only we who can walk away into darkness, that shaft of light is always there. I thank Him that He became the Sacrificial lamb that is able to guide us back into that light.
God bless.

Brenda said...

I tried to leave a comment on your blog but I am not sure if it came up, as a message came up saying that it could not.

S. Knowles said...

Hi Brenda,

This was a very encouraging reminder . Thanks for sharing this and those poems . May we all store up treasures in heaven by being doers of God's word . God bless you Brenda . ☺💞

Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra, thank you for your kind comment. Yes, we are forever learning. I don't know what that message was that came up on my phone. God bless you Sateigdra xxx

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
I haven't looked on YouTube, but I browsed through a book once in which a pastor during a near death experience felt indescribable joy as he approached Heaven. He wrote that the music was amazing, as millions of voices were each singing their unique song of praise to the Lord, all at the same time, yet the harmonies and melodies all blended beautifully. The apostle Paul wrote that words were inadequate to describe it. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie, I know for sure that no one could describe that experience unless they have experienced it. We have been to many places all over the world but I have never seen the colours, or felt the love that I experienced in the place I was taken to, and the knowledge I had when I was there answered any question anyone could ask about anything. Amen to 'Come quickly Lord Jesus. God bless you Laurie.

Sandi said...

Back again... :)

I keep coming to this post for some reason, Brenda. I am sitting on my deck enjoying the new springtime and reading your words. I find them wise and encouraging.

"Proverb ch.15 v.21 says that, 'Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly',  so where do I find true joy that will not come from folly, and how do I tell the difference? " and... "Substitute joy"

As I read this, I am reminded of an interview I saw once with a rock star. He was talking about his hedonistic lifestyle when he was young and how it became depleting for him. He was sad, lonely, and surrounded by adoring fans. It wasn't enough. I think folly gets tiresome after a while. (He went on to talk about his then current life, wife, kids, real love.)

"that what appears to be a broad path
leads to a confined space
but what appears to be a narrow path
leads out into a broad place"

I quoted this in my other comment here too. So true. Profound.

"for gold's only good for a lifetime
but You ....... for eternity"


Well, thanks again. I enjoy this post and will probably be back again!

Also...that ten pound note was totally a God thing!

Brenda said...

Hi Sandi,
it is lovely to hear from you, and I have a picture in my mind of you sitting on your deck enjoying Springtime. Isn't God's creation beautiful. It has definitely been true for me to discover that knowing our beautiful Father through Jesus (the gateway) leads to a broad path. The things of God are foolishness to the carnal mind but once I came to know His Word after being born again of His Spirit I realized that sin can not be overcome without Him. I have never experienced a love like His, and His ability to help us overcome the spiritual enemy.
God bless you Sandi, enjoy your Springtime.

Sandi said...

Thank you, Brenda.