Joy that overflows

We finished talking about love last week. So back to our key verses in Galatians 5:22-23 TPT which say, “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

This week we will be talking about joy that overflows. Have you ever met people who are full of the joy of the Lord? The kind of people that when they laugh, you can’t help but laugh? I saw an advertisement by Coca Cola once, called the laughing train. There is this man who gets on a train. He is wearing his earphones and seems to be watching something on his iPad. He starts to laugh and for some reason can’t seem to stop laughing. The people around him initially look at him like he is weird but eventually they all, one by one, start laughing until everyone was laughing together.

Whereas in the advertisement it is likely that the people were paid actors. The reality remains that authentic joy is contagious. If you are walking down the street and you look up at someone and smile, their instinctive reaction is to smile back. You may say nothing else after that but you just both, even for a brief moment, smiled.

The good thing about the joy of the Lord is that it is not superficial. It is not skin deep. It comes from your very core. The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the Holy Spirit living within you. For us to be able to fully embrace the joy of the Lord, we need to first understand that God is a joy filled God. He is full of joy overflowing. When you picture Papa God what do you see?

I remember once I was praying and I felt I caught a glimpse of God. I can’t tell you any other details but I remember that He was smiling and what stuck out to me were the smile wrinkles on the corners of His eyes.  God was having a good time. A few weeks ago, my friend Gina was praying and she had this encounter with Papa God where He was just laughing. A deep, guttural, belly laugh. I think sometimes we are way more intense than God ever intended us to be. The more we get to know God, the more free we become. The more free we are, the more we get to experience His true joy.

There is no replacement or counterfeit for the joy of the Lord. Everything else comes and goes, the joy of the Lord is a constant deep in your heart. It is always there and available, ready to be accessed by you whenever you need it. That is the great thing about the fruit of the Spirit. It is not seasonal. It is available in all seasons. However, it grows and matures as we grow and mature in Christ.

What is joy? I think joy is our response to what God is doing in, through and around us. We have a choice in life about how we want to respond to our circumstances. We can literally wake up and choose to be in a bad mood or we can wake up and choose to be joy filled. If you remember from a few weeks ago, we said the fruit of the Spirit is already in our spirit as our spirit is in union with God’s Spirit. However, the fruit needs to find its expression through our soul; our mind, will, emotions, etc. The fruit may be there, but it is up to us to choose to experience it and release it.

John 8:32 says, “For if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.” One way we can start releasing the joy of the Lord is by embracing the truth that God is full of joy and He is not an angry God. We are created in His image meaning that the range of emotions we experience come from Him. Only that He is well balanced and sometimes, well, we are not! As we embrace the truth that God is joyful, it will release in us (in our soul) the freedom to begin to experience true joy in our lives.

The most joy filled people I know are the most free people I know. It is hard to experience true joy when you are spiritually bound. Freedom in Christ releases this response of joy uncontainable that overflows and spills over into everything we do. To experience the fruit of joy in our lives, we need to be willing to embrace the truth of God’s word over our lives, so it releases true freedom into our lives. With freedom comes joy uncontainable.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano.

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