Putting It All Together
I once met a Christian who believed something was wrong with him because he was a believer, but he didn’t have joy.
It’s easy for him to believe that he should have joy. Many assume joy is automatic with Christianity—that once you become a believer, you automatically have the joy of Jesus.
But this isn’t what the Bible says.
Instead, the Bible says we will go through hard times. It doesn’t guarantee instant happiness.
Fortunately, Jesus says we will not be orphans in the world either (John 14:18). He sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. And as we live in the Spirit, we experience His fruit, which is joy (Gal. 5:22).
Joy is not automatic for the Christian. It is something we have to continually lean into. But the good news is, we have access to joy through the Spirit. With the presence of the Spirit, we can grow through difficult things.
But of course, we must cultivate this joy. If we continually escape difficult things, we’ll “gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:14), and bar ourselves from the joy God wants us to have.
Here are practical ways we can develop our capacity of joy through the Spirit:
Take negative thoughts captive
Allow negative emotions
Don’t escape the emotion with a pleasure
Joy is on the other side of these three actions. As we take these actions in the midst of daily stress, we cast a vote for joy instead.
Now go make joy a habit.
We hope this Plan encouraged you. Learn more about practical, Biblical joy at https://nealsamudre.com/overstress/.