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God desires for each of us to have a good time to enjoy life. It’s one of the benefits of living for Him. The Bible tells us that the Lord rejoices and sings for joy over us (Zep.3.17). Goodness, joy, delight, laughter, and pleasure are all God’s idea.

Joy is so important to God that He made it a commandment: “You shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you... serve the Lord with gladnessRojoice in the Lord always.”  (Deut. 26:11; Ps. 100; Phil. 4:4)

The Lord wants us to live in joy at all times.

Joy is not the same thing as fun. The Lord has some serious warnings about what is enjoyment and what is not. Some things may seem innocent or of little matter, but they lead to destruction.

Sometimes we use words and phrases without giving any thought to what such things really mean. However, the Bible urges us: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2.15).

It is important to diligently study the Word of God. It is also important to study what is in our own life – the words we speak and the things we do – and evaluate according to His Word what is pleasing to Him and what is not.

Joy, pleasure, delight, jubilation, and gladness are all Biblical, God-inspired words. A word often used in place of these words is the word “fun.” However, “fun” carries a completely different meaning. According to the Bible, its meaning is ungodly and destructive.

The word “fun”, which was first spelled fonne, originated between the 12th and 16th centuries in England. Fonne describes “a fool” and “foolishness”. A word related to fonne is fonnen and means “to be foolish.” Perhaps you have heard the phrase “I was just funnin’ with you.”  Funnin’ is a modern spelling of fonnen, so the phrase would really mean “I was just being foolish with you.”  Another related word, fone,  meant “phony” and describes something which is not genuine; false; counterfeit; pretentious; fake; deceptive.

Whenever we use the word “fun” in conversation, we are actually promoting foolishness and being phony. What is so bad about foolishness?  Let’s see what the Scriptures say about it:
  • God has no pleasure in fools (Eccle. 5.4).
  • The foolish cannot stand in God’s presence (Ps. 5.5).
  • Foolish thoughts and the devising of foolishness is sin (Prov. 24.9).
  • To do evil is like sport to a fool (Prov. 10.23).
  • A companion of fools will be destroyed (Prov. 13.20).
There is no foolishness in God. There is nothing phony or deceitful in God, therefore there is nothing phony about joy. Fun is phony. Joy is real.

Romans 12.2 instructs: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” There is no foolishness in God, so there should be no foolishness in us – for we have been made in His image.

We should have great joy, yes. We should have great pleasure and gladness and delight, yes. But we should give no place in our life to anything which represents cheap, senseless, foolish things. Why? Because there is something Higher.

So many things which the world calls happiness and pleasure have no real substance. It is merely sugar-water – something to tempt and pacify the appetite but provides no nourishment and never really satisfies the hunger.

We may find enjoyment at times in things that are comical, humorous, or amusing. As long as those things don’t violate the standard God has set in His Word, we can experience joy, laughter, and pleasure without crossing the line over into foolishness.

As good and refreshing as such times of laughter and pleasure can be, there is still something higher. Happiness responds to temporary reality we see with our eyes. Joy, on the other hand, responds to the eternal reality — the true reality — which is seen through the eyes of our spirit.

Joy does not operate based upon the circumstances. Joy operates regardless of the circumstances. Unlike happiness, which is merely an expression of emotion which changes with the circumstance, joy is a powerful force of the Holy Spirit which yields lasting, positive results.

Joy will see you through times when everything is going wrong. At such times, there may be nothing that seems like laughing about. But if you will focus on Jesus and trust His Word, joy will rise up in your heart and cause whatever you are going through to look brighter.

Fun can’t do that. Only the force of joy in the Lord can turn trial into triumph. Only joy can strengthen us to overcome every obstacle and produce the power to lay hold in faith of the limitless delight in God’s Goodness and Provision.

So let’s lay aside everything counterfeit, everything phony, everything of worthless value, and take hold of what is real and lasting…

Let’s answer the joy command… because there is nothing phony about joy!

First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR
All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission.

Author Biography

Sharah LaGail Wyatt
Web site: First Love Ministries International
Sharah LaGail Wyatt is Founder and President of First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR (based in Fort Worth, Texas), with an extensive background in the fine and performing arts and in ministry. She is a member of the International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM). As an anointed teacher, writer/author, graphic artist, musician and composer, she desires to lead people of all ages into the presence of God and into developing a lifestyle of faith, worship and intimacy with Him.

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