This is the post I wrote just an hour before Greg’s dad suddenly passed away last Saturday. The next one I plan to write is about counting trials as joy, which I had also planned to write before the trial we are currently facing began. I’m so excited to share the wonderful blessing of the joy of the Lord with all of you. It is one of the most precious gifts of God. When we know the Lord, we get to experience and participate in His amazing joy and contentment, even during the most difficult circumstances.
Joy is something we all long to experience continually. But so few people possess it today. Even in the church. Dear sisters, this need not be! Each of us have access to more joy than we could possibly imagine in Jesus Christ!
- Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.
- The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled.
- Joy manifests in different ways:
- the joy of deliverance
- the joy of salvation
- the joy of spiritual maturity
- the joy of God’s presence
- The Greek chara is closely related to charis, which means “grace” or “a gift.” Chara is the normal response to charis—we have joy because of God’s grace.
- Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13).
- Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).
WHAT CAN DESTROY MY JOY?
For a believer in Christ, no one can take away our joy. The gifts and promises of God are secure for us in Jesus. The only way to lose my joy is to take my eyes off of Jesus, to slip from fellowship with Him (because of sin or neglect), to believe lies, and/or to look to other things/people for my joy, security, contentment, peace, and purpose.
Satan wants to steal my joy, and he will if I allow him to. He would love to get me to think I have to live in misery, defeat, sin, discouragement, worry, and fear. But reality is…
No one can steal the promises of God for me – unless I allow them to!
This joy is always available to me in my relationship with the Living God and Creator of the universe. It is not dependent on my circumstances or on other people.
- The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
- So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:22
Joy comes only when I turn away from everything that is spiritually toxic and my heart is fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus. Then I have fellowship with God – emotional and spiritual connection, oneness, and intimacy.
Joy is intrinsic to the character and presence of God. He is the source of all true joy. Joy, in and of itself, is not to be my primary goal. It is an inevitable result when I am in close fellowship with the Lord. Joy is a byproduct, like all of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Interestingly, joy is also a command for us as believers.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Phil. 4:4
God’s joy is always available to me – as much as He is always available to me. Many of us live in despair, hopelessness, and spiritual oppression today. But that is not God’s provision for us! We often live like we are beggars, searching desperately for crumbs. But if we belong to Christ, we are children of the Most High God and joint heirs with Jesus. All that He possesses belongs to us. We are already seated with Him in the heavenlies! And we will reign with Him for eternity.
- If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. (John 15:10-11)
WHAT REASONS DO I HAVE FOR JOY RIGHT NOW?
Here are just a few reasons I can have joy in any circumstances:
- Jesus’ death conquered and paid for my sin debt in full! I have the ability to be in right-standing with God! (1 Cor. 15:55-57)
- There is no longer any condemnation for me, if I am in Jesus! (Rom. 8:1)
- His resurrection is mine – with the power to live today in holiness and the power to rise from death and experience eternal life! (John 11:25, Rom. 8:11)
- I have God’s Word – and it is Life and Light. (Matt. 4:4, Ps. 119:105)
- I have access to the very Holy of holies in heaven through Jesus! (Heb. 10:19)
- His promises are all mine to claim, to stand on, and to delight in. (Phil. 4:19, 2 Cor. 1:20)
- His Spirit is mine. (1 Cor. 6:19)
- His fellowship is mine. (1 John 1:3)
- His love is mine. Nothing can separate me from the Love of God in Christ Jesus if I belong to Him! (Rom. 8:38-39)
- God will never leave me or forsake me. (Deut. 31:8)
- God uses everything that happens in our lives for our ultimate good (if we are believers) and His ultimate glory. (Rom. 8:28-29)
- God is sovereign over my life, my family, and the nations. (Ps. 103:19)
- He is love. (1 John 4:8)
- His wisdom is infinitely higher than my own. (Isaiah 40:28)
- God is good. (Ps. 34:8)
- My identity is in Christ Jesus alone. (Gal. 2:20)
- My security is in Christ Jesus alone. (Eph. 1:13-14)
- In Christ, all my fears melt away. He does not give me a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. (1 Tim. 1:7)
- He has given me so many reasons to sing praises to Him. (Ps. 100:1-2)
- He gives me victory over sinful thoughts, words, and actions as I let His Spirit work powerfully in me. (Rom. 8:13)
- He has done great things for me and I am extremely thankful to Him! (1 Thess. 5:18)
- If I am on God’s side, He will fight for me and the enemy will not be able to have victory over me. (1 John 4:4, Ex. 14:14)
- I don’t have to be afraid of all of the chaos going on in the world, God has given us information about what must take place before the rapture and Great Tribulation. I can stand on His Word. (1 Thess. 4:17, Rev. 13)
- Heaven is guaranteed for me if I belong to Jesus. I don’t have to face death with fear. (John 3:16, 1 Cor. 2:9)
God has blessed me with countless blessings throughout my life: Jesus, salvation, the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, my birth family, my husband, my children, air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, a job, a roof over my head, a country where I am free, a church family, friends, health, electricity, the internet, talents, abilities, etc…
If these reasons for joy don’t get you excited, it’s time to check your spiritual pulse!
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10
What has God shown you about joy? We’d love to hear about it!
Is There a Difference between Joy and Happiness? by www.gotquestions.org
What Is Joy? by www.gotquestions.org
How Do You Define Joy? by John Piper