The Joy Of The Lord
THE JOY OF THE LORD . . .
By Rodney W. Francis
Let us look at a subject that is often not considered as to how essential it is for Christians to be full of the joy of the Lord. Even in these difficult times we can be full of God’s joy:
- “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
- “In Your (God’s) presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
- “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).
Joy is an essential part of being in the Kingdom of God: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Joy is a “fruit of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). It is a product of our walking with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day living.
EVEN IN TESTING TIMES
Even in times of opposition and persecution we can be joyful: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5). “But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:50-52; see also John 16:22).
When things in life are seemingly going against us, we can still have joy and rejoice in the Lord: “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls ~ yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18; see also 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7).
The joy of the Lord enables us to be overcomers of those things that come against us in life. In spite of what the devil throws at us we can be victorious in the Lord through joy and rejoicing in what He has done for us. The word “joy” is mentioned 158 times in the New King James Version of the Bible and means: “to rejoice, joy, gladness, shout for joy – the primary idea seems to be that of a smiling, cheerful, merry countenance” (Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies); and “delight, be pleased with, to rejoice exceedingly, especially with song and dance” (Bullinger’s New Testament Concordance). The word “rejoice” is written 199 times. Joy and rejoicing go together. A joyful heart is a rejoicing heart!
THE WORDS OF JESUS GIVE JOY
When we receive the words of Jesus into our heart they create a joy within us. Jesus said/says: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you: abide (“remain, dwell”) in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (“to make full, perform fully, complete, accomplish” – Bullinger’s)” (John 15:9-11; see also 1 Peter 1:3-9).
How important it is for us to heed the words of Jesus. We must believe what He says to us more than what our own mind ~ or others ~ tell us. They cannot give us joy like Jesus does!
God’s joy is an everlasting joy: “And the ransomed (“redeemed and set free” – Wilson’s) of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11). This promise applies to us today: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant . . .” (Hebrews 12:22-24). How privileged we are to be in such company! That should fill us with joy continually. To really know that our sins are all forgiven is the cause for great joy. Even the angels in heaven rejoice when a sinner repents: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Salvation in and through Jesus Christ causes joy in heaven, and in the life of the one who repents. Hallelujah!
It is obvious from just a few of the many Scriptures about joy that joy is a vital part of being a true born-again believer. No one can give us joy and victory like Jesus Christ!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound (“to be over and above, more than enough” – Bullinger’s) in hope by the power (“dunamis” ~ ability to do anything”) of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
God wants the very best for us. He knows that we need to have His joy in our lives if we are going to succeed and conquer every obstacle that comes against us as we live for and serve God in a godless generation.
- His joy causes us to abound, to overcome, to live above the circumstances, and to be able to live a God-glorifying life filled with the joy of the Lord.
- That joy makes us very different to the people of the world.
- True Christianity is not a sad, joyless experience.
- No, it is one filled with the joy of the Lord which is our strength!
- As we spend time in His presence we are filled with a fullness of joy.
- Nothing can compare to that which God gives us. Praise Him!
- True joy is found only in a personal relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Blessed Holy Spirit.
“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). Reading, meditating and believing the Scriptures is also a great way to increase our joy. God’s desire is that our joy may be full! Make sure you have a daily devotional time with Jesus, listening to His voice so you can be more and more obedient to Him. That will be evidenced by a greater and fuller joy in your life that will cause others to ask what makes you so different. Hallelujah!
In today’s world, it is very important that we Christians know and experience God’s joy in our hearts and lives, so we can rise up above every obstacle that comes against us to discourage and knock us down. Know that “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). When we know the truth of God and His word to us, then we are filled with a joy that no one can take away from us. We know we are safe in His loving arms, have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb (Jesus), and have a place in heaven prepared for us so we can live eternally in the presence of the Mighty Triune God. Hallelujah! How privileged we are to know, love and serve Jesus. Surely there is nothing more joyful than that.
Be encouraged to seek to get closer to the Lord in this day, so that His joy can fill your heart and life more and more, even to overflowing with His abundant blessings. Put the past behind you and know that right now you and God are united in His love and joy. Truly, the joy of the Lord is your strength. God bless you. I finish with the chorus of a well-known song:
“Jesus is the Joy of Living, He’s the King of Life to me; Unto Him my all I’m giving, His forevermore to be. I will do what He commands me, Anywhere He leads I‘ll go; Jesus is the Joy of Living, He’s the dearest Friend I know”.