Connect, Lead, Equip: Experience Joy through Fellowship
Fellowship describes connecting with others who are followers of Jesus Christ. In 1 John, John communicates his personal experience with Christ…
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete,” (1 John: 1:3-4, ESV).
The New Testament has an abundance of passages that describe how we are to interact with one another. All of those scriptures assume we are sharing our lives with one another. We are commanded to love one another, encourage one another, care for one another, serve one another, bear one another’s burdens, be at peace with one another, wash one another’s feet, respect one another, submit to one another, forgive one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess our sins to one another, and be hospitable towards one another. Every one of these commands requires that we are in relationship with each other.
Connecting with Jesus Christ and connecting with followers of Jesus Christ is a way to experience joy. We lose the felt enjoyment of Christianity when we isolate. Relationships with others bring us joy. That’s the way God wired us. Usually what happens is when we don’t feel happy, when we’ve got the blues, or feel depressed, we don’t want to be with people. We want to avoid and stay to ourselves. We lose energy, mope around, and our approach of being alone doesn’t help us very much.
Now, there are times when we need to be alone, but there are also times the best thing we can do is get together with others who will be encouragers. Choose people who themselves test positive for joy. There are usually enough wet blanket people around us. When we start to make our way out of the black hole of discouragement, some people push us back with their complaints, whining, and “can’t do” approach to life.
If you experience a joy-impaired, joy-challenged time in life, pick out some people who are joy-carriers, and start to spend time around them. Let them know you are joy-impaired and ask them to pray with you that God will produce this fruit in you in larger measure. You can always get back to being a joyful person. God wants you to be a joyful person and the Holy Spirit is waiting to produce joy in you. But you must take responsibility for your joy. Start today by being sure you have connected to the source of joy, Jesus Christ, and connect to those that are joyful in your life.