Joy – BT1





Striving in the flesh versus receiving joy from the Spirit



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Evidently you can do any ministry in the flesh of “might and power!”  So Hebrews 13:17 implies that “chief-leaders (a) that keep attentive watch over others (b) need to be able to do this with chara joy (c) instead of with complaint/groaning.”  1 Peter 5:2 is addressed to shepherd-overseers:  “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking oversight, not by constraint/compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you – not for gain, which is shameful, but eagerly.” <Notes> a) hegeomai, b) the overseer or shepherd does this, c) awareness of charis unconditional-favor-of-grace.


But Solomon asks:  “What has a man from all the toil and striving (a) of heart/mind with which he toils beneath the sun?  For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation (b).  Even in the night his heart/mind does not rest (c).  This also is vanity!  There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?  For to the one who pleases Him God has given sophia wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God.  This also is vanity and a striving after wind” (d). <Notes> a) longing, vexation, anxiety, restlessness, b) provocation, grief, frustration, c) find quiet and peace to slumber or sleep, d) Ecclesiastes 2:22-26.


Peaceful rest, repose, stillness, quietness, and joy are grace-gifts of God, because they are the nature of God’s own Spirit.  They come from taking a break or mini-vacation, like Psalms 46:10 says, from our busyness and toil – including work to “please” God – and the stress, soreness, frustration, and grief that often comes from it, and instead leaning against, trusting, or having trusting-relying-faith in our fellowship with Christ.




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Categories: Joy