Dec 11, 2020 – From Rev Sadekie
JOY: POSITIVITY UNWRAPPED
Our prevailing circumstances could easily give us the impression that there is nothing to be happy
about, much more to joyful. Our current circumstances are the ideal context for us to test our
spiritual maturity, by assessing the presence of the joy as a fruit of the spirit in our lives. To help
with that assessment, I share a few insights regarding the meaning of joy in Scripture.
Joy, comes from the Greek word, chara, which means a feeling of inner gladness. The Bible
speaks more about joy than it does about happiness and this is because, joy and happiness are two
different experiences. Let’s first understand the difference.
Happiness has at its root, “Hap” which means chance and is the root of several words— happen,
happening, haphazard (dependent on mere chance), hapless, happenstance (a chance
circumstance) and happy. So Happiness is a glad feeling that depends on something good
happening. God wants you to experience happy times, but God’s greater desire is that you have
unconditional joy. Jesus said His joy would “remain in you” and “your joy no one will take from
you” (John 15:11 ; 16:22). So happiness is TEMPORARY based on what is happening.
Think of joy as a strong foundation that supports a variety of healthy emotions, including
happiness. The long-range evidence of joy is general gratitude, contentment, optimism, a sense of
freedom and other positive attitudes.
Joy looks OUTWARD (hope for the future and the promises of God) and UPWARD (focuses on
God and what God has done in the past), not INWARD. One could say that joy is expressed in
To grow in joy, we have to exercise control over SELF; in particular, self-pity, self- absorption
and self-centredness. For joy to increase we have to focus on the positive, on others and on God’s
goodness and love. In a way, a key composite of joy is gratitude (2 Peter 1:4).
The expression of Joy is REJOICING. The Bible repeatedly urges us to rejoice! The most popular
exhortation being Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
Joy because of trials? The joy from the Holy Spirit continues to flow through people even during
their suffering because of their HOPE and PEACE. Paul wrote that “we also rejoice in our
sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and
character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). According to James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops
perseverance”—perseverance in remaining faithful to God (James 1:2). Christ suffering for each
of us, should inspire us to have a special joy when we are persecuted for our faith. Jesus said,
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12).
As you think about reflect this week, seek to find joy, rather than just being happy.
THIS WEEK- Make your own advent wreath and do your morning and/or
Think about JOY as you read Psalm 5:11, we hear these words,
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.”
Light 2 candles and one candle of a different colour.
Pray: Too often, I think joy is beyond me, O God. A party or a parade can certainly
bring me joy. Just as easily and far more often, I can feel joy in a hug or the squeeze of
hand, I can see joy in a smile or hear it in laughter. Help me to not overlook the simple
joys that peak into my life daily. Help me to hold on to my joy, even in these
challenging times. This week in my Advent journey, open my eyes to see the joy that
surrounds me. Amen.
Resources – https://www.liturgylink.net/2014/11/11/advent-candles-hope-peace-joy-love/
Prayers of the People
If you are unable to attend online worship but have a prayer request, if you send me
an email by noon (12pm) on Saturday, I will include it the prayers of people on
Until we speak again…Walk good and good will follow you.
Dec 11, 2020 – From Rev Sadekie