Summary: A series based on the Fruit of the Spirit, helping us reach our full potential.
Fruit of the Spirit - Joy
April 15, 2018
I need to admit I’m kind of confused. I’m not really sure what’s going to make me happy! I was thinking about a new car. But I wasn’t sure. Maybe one of these would work!!
But then again, I thought I could change my wardrobe. You know, retool myself. Change my hairstyle. Get rid of the gray, add some hair, make myself a little taller - - - well I guess I can’t have everything.
Then again, I thought we could move to some tropical paradise. And have a really cool home. You know those programs that talk about finding that second home on some Carribean Island.
Maybe if we played the lottery that would get us there, and we’d be happy!
I don’t know about you, but I really want to be happy. I think I can buy my way into happiness. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be like? Remember that old song, Don’t worry, be happy. I guess I’m dating myself, but deep down, we think this is what we want. No worries, just plain happiness!
Peggy Noonan was a speech writer for President Reagan, she wrote an article entitled, "You'd Cry Too, if It Happened to You." This is part of her article ~
We weren't put here to be happy. Somewhere in the 70's or the 60's we started expecting to be happy. And we changed our lives, left town, left families, switched jobs, if we were not. And society strained and cracked in the storm … I think we have lost the old knowledge that happiness is over rated. We've lost somehow a sense of mystery about us, our purpose, our meaning, our role. We're the first generations that have actually expected to find happiness here on earth. And our search for it has caused such unhappiness. If you believe only in the flat material world around you, if you believe this is your only chance at happiness, if that is what you believe, then you are not disappointed when the world doesn't give you a good measure of its riches — you are despairing.
We expect to be happy. You may think I’m against being happy. That’s not the point, I want to be happy, but we have an addiction to making ourselves happy because we believe we deserve to be happy. It’s owed to us.
We’re made to believe we deserve this happiness. Watch any commercial and we seem to be promised that by changing toothpaste, you’ll have whiter teeth and more people wanting to date you. Mortgage the house to take that dream vacation. Drink the right whiskey and you’ll attract those women! Get a new job, a new house, a new wardrobe, a new spouse. We live in the . . . if only . . . world.
Most of us have played this game at some point in our lives. If my life was only different, than I would be happy. And sometimes, that search leads us into some pretty dark and sinful areas.
I read a story about a man who was traveling on an airplane, and the man sitting next to him ordered a special meal. The flight attendant brought the man his specially ordered meal. A few minutes later, they began to pass out the rest of the meals. And guess what? They all received the same meal. When the man realized everyone was getting his special meal, he complained, "I ordered a special meal." The flight attendant said, "You got a special meal. Is this not the meal you ordered?" "Yes, but everybody got the same thing I did."
Have you ever been perfectly satisfied with something - - until you looked across the fence to see that someone had something just a little better? Do you really believe that a change in your own circumstances would cause you to be happier?
Well, we’re in week 2 of looking at the Fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists these character virtues ~
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Today, we are looking at the second of the 9 virtues . . . JOY! What does it mean to have joy? I believe one of satans great tools is helping us believe we’re not happy, that we’re discontent. If we were content, there wouldn’t be this constant obsession and pursuit for happiness. Look at the story of Adam and Eve . . . because it started all the way in the beginning.
Eve was made to think God was holding out on her. She thought there was more out there. She was made to feel discontent. In Genesis 3 we read ~