Do you have joy in your life? What is joy? Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is often a result of something that happens outside of us. We often say “that makes me happy” or “you make me so happy”. Happiness usually comes with the reason why you feel happy. Joy is different. Joy begins inside and radiates to include the outside. “You bring me joy.” Joy is often a result of who someone is rather than what someone does.
Most people who read the Bible see Joy as a fruit of The Spirit and it is. Galatians 5:22 oy is listed as a fruit of The Spirit. However, it is also a gift. , In Luke 2:10, the angels brought tidings of great joy! Their presence took the shepherds to their knees in worship. The Angels brought joy and the shepherds received it. When we receive the Holy Spirit into our lives. In other words, when we receive Our Creator’s Spirit into our lives, the gift of joy is part of what we receive.
Joy is often associated with innocence. Children experience joy more often than adults do. They abandon the cares of this world and allow themselves to just enjoy the world around them. In the case of children, they cast their cares on their parents. Children don’t (and shouldn’t) worry about where their next meal is coming from, where they will get their clothes, whether the utilities get paid, or whether or not they have a roof over their heads. They trust their parents to deal with those things. This leaves them to live in the present and experience that gift of joy.
Be As Little Children
How do we receive joy in our lives. The word says that we are to become as little children. In I Peter 5:7 it says that we are to cast our cares on him for he cares for us. Jesus said that we are to take no thought about tomorrow. He tells us that we are to give thanks for everything. Joy is an attitude that belongs to all of us and we are to cultivate it.
Joy-No Matter What Your Circumstances
Joy begins with gratitude for what God has given you. No matter what your circumstances, you can choose to receive joy. Less than two years ago, I lost three family members within six months of one another. Then my husband told me that he loved a thirteen year old girl (not our daughter) and put his hands around my neck and threatened to kill me. I was put out of my house, forced to leave my daughter behind because I didn’t have anywhere to take her. I didn’t let any of this steal my joy. I cast my cares on the Lord. I got a job, had it for a year, then lost it because of an accusation of something that I didn’t do. By this time I quit worrying and focused instead on the “Joy of the Lord”.
The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength
Psalm 30:5 King David Wrote “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” King David was a man “after God’s own heart”. He knew the joy of the Lord and (to such abandon that it embarrassed his wife Michel) danced before the Ark of the Covenant. He also understood however what it was like to be in the depths of despair. He knew that the problems he had in life would not last, but that even though he did not always see it, like the sun behind the clouds, joy was always there. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5.
The Meek Shall Inherit God’s Joy
Isaiah 29:19 says “the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord.”
In Nehemiah 8:9-12, the children of Israel had just spent 70 years in captivity. They had finally been allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild it. A day of celebration had been declared where mourning and weeping were no longer allowed.
There is coming a day when our life’s journey here on earth will have been completed. On that day the Lord will mandate a day of celebration for those of us who joined to him. On that day, there will be no sadness, no mourning, only joy.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga