and that your joy may be complete.”
John 15:11, NIV
Bruce Larson wrote a book and one of the chapters had this title: “Are You Fun To Live With?” Now, that is a convicting title. A genuine Christ-follower should be easy and enjoyable to live with. Jesus Christ did not come to this earth just to forgive our sins and take us to heaven. He came to radically transform our personalities.
But not everybody is fun to live with. Some people are just black holes of joy. If you let them, they will just suck the joy right out of you. They are joy-impaired! We have all met people like that. And, in all truth, most of us have had those kinds of sour moments too. But look at what God wants to do with our personalities.
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)
If the Holy Spirit is really inside of us, we should be fun to live with. Our personalities should gradually be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
But do not confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is based on your happenings. Happiness has to do with what happens to you. Happiness is external while joy is internal. Happiness is based on circumstances; joy is based on Christ. Happiness is based on chance; joy is based on choice.
Joy does not hang on uncontrollable circumstances but on the dependability of God. Joy is an inner satisfaction in life that prevails regardless of the circumstances. That is why the Bible uses the words joy, rejoice, and joyful a combination of 333 times but the words happy and happiness are used only 27 times. So what God wants in us is a joyful spirit.
QUESTION: Are you fun to live with? Is God’s Spirit controlling your life and shaping your personality? Since joy is a choice, how can you choose to be more joyful this week?