“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).”
Isaiah 51:11 declares that those set free by the Lord will be overtaken with joy and that sorrow would flee! Psalm 30:11 says that our mourning will be turned to dancing. Romans 14:17 declares: “The kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking, but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The nature of joy is very different from the nature of happiness. Unlike joy, which is a spiritual force, happiness is simply an emotional reaction to present life circumstances. Joy resides in the spirit, the inner man, of the believer and is deposited there through our relationship with the Lord and our habit of maintaining living contact with Him. Joy can be described as cheerful, calm delight. Christians with joy have learned to habitually rejoice, brighten up, or twirl about – all meanings of the biblical word for joy. Our cheerful, calm delight spills out of our hearts in the form of rejoicing even if nothing is going right or if nothing seems to be changing for the better.
The force of joy is powerful and produces much in the life of the believer. First, joy brings strength. In fact, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). This verse means that the joy of the Lord is our fortified place, a fort, and a defense. As long as our joy is strong our lives are well defended. When the joy drops, so does our protection.
Second, joy brings restoration. Like many of you, I tend to rejoice after something has been fixed or restored. James 1:2-5 tells us to “count it all joy” when we are facing various challenges. Jeremiah 33:10-11 instructs us that joy has a voice. In other words, it is quite impossible to hide joy because it is expressed verbally as well as sensed internally. We cannot wait until something is fixed or restored to rejoice in the Lord. In fact, Scripture indicates that rejoicing precedes or facilitates restoration (Joel 2:23-24).
There are many biblical blessings available to the believer for the consistent production of joy: (1) God’s grace – the fact that our sin is not counted against us. Celebrate the grace of God and joy will come; (2) God’s word – the entrance of the word into our hearts on any matter brings great joy. Pick up the Bible today and read it; (3) God’s lifestyle – the pure live a life of joy rather than torment and regret. Live your life without compromise; (4) God’s agenda – seeking and saving the lost brings us great joy. Bring someone to Jesus this week; (5) God’s presence – the presence of the Holy Spirit is a wellspring of joy for the believer. Camp out in the presence of God; and (6) God’s answer to prayer – our joy is made complete, mature, and full when we realize our God is a God that answers prayer. Keep on believing and receiving from God through prayer.
Don’t let anything get your joy. It is too valuable and too powerful a spiritual force to live without. The moment you sense your joy level dropping, take some of the above steps immediately and watch God restore your joy and all the benefits associated with joy!