What Does it Mean to Have Joy?


1044951014_faaa3e0f40_mThe Bible talks a lot about joy, and it’s an emotional word that we’re most familiar with in songs such as Joy to the World. But what does it really mean to have joy? Who can get joy and why do we want it?

The word, “joy”, is used almost two hundred times in the Bible (KJV) and always in reference to an emotional state of delight, wonder, bliss, happiness, and gladness.  We are told repeatedly to be joyful, to be filled with joy and to display our joy. Yet, many Christians have no idea how to rejoice or why, especially when life on earth can be at times anything but happy.

We need to understand that the “joy” the Bible talks about is NOT a reaction or a consequence to things or events that make us happy. The joy that God speaks of is a heartfelt contentment or confidence that we have in Jesus. It’s the ripple effect that comes from trusting Him and knowing that no matter what happens to us, HE will walk through the trials with us and take us into victory.

The Bible says in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Joy is a constant state of peace in our heart, of happiness and delight, because we know that Jesus is with us and will get us through the dark hours. We know that God in Heaven is looking out for us and guiding us and instructing us so that we can survive the attacks of the enemy.

Jesus tells us in Philippians 4:6 to be, “anxious for nothing”. stock-photo-a-guy-grabing-his-hair-with-angry-3211190In other words, when things happen and we face a trial that we can’t easily handle on our own, we should pray and tell the Lord about it and then trust Him to get us through it. We would wait on Him in prayer and wait physically before doing anything because He WILL get us through it even if He has to send other people across our path or arrange situations around us to change.

Instead of crying and talking negative, complaining and giving glory to the devil, we need to rest in the Lord and let our heart be free and excited with “joy” because we know that Jesus is on the scene. We need to get it down deep into our heart until we know that we know that “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).

And when we have this confidence, then our heart is filled with a joy that no person can take from us. So, how do we get this joy?

By reading the Bible and knowing just how loving our Father in Heaven really is. He loves each of us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us – a judgment that we all deserve. And He did it because He loves us and wants us to be free of sin and filled with His Spirit. This is unconditional love because Jesus took on our sins before we even realized who He was.

We can only begin to comprehend the love that He has for us when we study the Bible and learn what He will do for us while we’re here on earth. Our faith in Him will grow and we’ll begin to trust Him with our lives. And we do this because we love Him, and our hearts become filled with excitement, confidence and trust in the Lord, and are filled with a feeling of happiness and contentment that is called, joy.

But that joy doesn’t always stay bottled up inside us because at times we need to express it 3258159011_3154366ae5_mand shout it out. If we were at a football game and our team scored a goal, we wouldn’t just sit there and think, “Hurrah!”  No! We’d jump up and shout and sing praises to them because we were so happy.

Jesus is our hero and He is winning the game against the devil in our lives when we give the battles to him, and He does it one step at a time. With each battle that He wins we should shout His praises as loud as we can and display our appreciation. And we do this because of the joy that it’s our heart.

Have you ever met someone who you knew was going through a rough time and yet they didn’t seem to be affected? If they’re a Christian it’s likely because they gave the problem over to God and trusted Him to get them through it. We need to be careful that we don’t judge someone or speak negative about them because they don’t seem to be concerned. The joy that’s in their heart will keep them sane and able to handle life through the bad times, and we need to find that joy for our own lives.

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” … Psalm 5:11

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