Faith is the cause. Joy is the result. I can’t turn fear and joy on and off by will-power. But by God’s grace I can turn from happy circumstances as my joy, to trusting Christ as my joy.
As you know, I have had two major infections since May. There have been times during this journey that I have given in to discouragement and fear.
I set my heart prayerfully on the truth of who He is — praising Him, thanking Him, worshiping Him, beholding Him.
Slowly — the fear diminished. Slowly — I felt the Holy Spirit changing my heart so I felt love for Christ, joy in Christ, hope everything
By the time I started worshiping God the fear was gone. I saw and felt that having Jesus was everything.
Some implications of the cause-effect relationship between faith in Christ and joy in Christ —
I must not live based on emotions. But I also must not ignore emotions — because emotions show what I am trusting. Whatever I desire the most, or worry about losing the most, is what I am trusting the most.
I never need to settle for lack of joy in Christ. If I will prayerfully fight the fight of faith, the Holy Spirit will restore the joy of salvation.
I must never settle for lack of joy in Christ — because lack of joy shows there’s a problem with my faith. Remember that joy and happiness are different things. Joy is not based on Circumstances. It either shows I am not trusting Jesus to satisfy me, or I am trusting something else to satisfy me.
Have we thought about how when we fellowship, pray, witness, or worship with other Christians that we should disciple and encourage them? The question is not what should the church do to make me more comfortable and happier. The question should be: how to glorify God and love people in our church, the body of Christ and part of the world-wide church of all true Christians?
In verse 26 Paul says that their boasting should be in Christ. We run into a lot of trouble when we compare ourselves to others and boast in ourselves.