Pastor's Pondering


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Fight for Joy

by Duane Mabee on March 2, 2023

Recently, Karla and I were privileged to attend a banquet for area pastors and spouses.  As you would expect, the speaker’s message was primarily directed to those in ministry.  It dealt with what we need to do to be successful in God’s eyes, which is the only success that ultimately matters.  But his message could be applied to any believer as it really dealt with what it takes to succeed spiritually. 


His second point struck home for me as it is something I need to focus on.  To succeed spiritually, we need to fight for joy


The fallenness of our world, the condition of our own soul, and the attacks of the enemy conspire to rob us of our joy.  When we lose joy, it takes the life out of us.  We can’t thrive in our own faith, so we can’t entice and invite others to join us in the faith.  No wonder the enemy spends so much effort on robbing God’s people of joy. 


Looking up joy in the Bible, I find that it is an important component of the Christian life for at least four key reasons. 


  1. God told us to rejoice and express joy because we belong to Him.  It’s a command.  “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11 ESV).


  1. Joy is a key part of appropriate worship.  “But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’” (Ps 40:16 ESV). 


  1. God’s kingdom isn’t about following strict rules.  It’s about a relationship with Him that changes our souls.  “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17 ESV).


  1. The Holy Spirit in us naturally produces joy.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…” (Gal. 5:22 ESV). 


Joy is a critical part of the Christian life, and the enemy will do whatever he can to steal it.  So, we need to fight for it.  We need to invest in developing joy in our lives, but how?  Unfortunately, the message didn’t address that.  The speaker achieved his purpose, though.  He convinced me I need to study how to fight for joy in my life.  He launched me on a quest to see what the Bible has to say about how to do it.  I’m hoping to do the same thing to you.  One thing already I know is, the search has to start with the Holy Spirit.