Joy means to have a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Now we all know that feelings of pleasure and happiness are fleeting. Those moments of joy are often interrupted by the life’s challenges. I like to describe joy as a feeling of happiness that radiates from the inside. It is not dependent on circumstances or situations that arise in our lives.
Joy for those of us who trust and love God is not a superficial happiness. I am not saying that Christians do not experience moments of unhappiness because we do. I know I do. What I am saying is that the joy that we experience is based on our hope in Christ Jesus. Even when we are sad and in tears our hearts are joyful because we know our lives are secure in Him.
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” We have joy in our spirits and in our hearts. We can remain strong even in tough times because we have the joy of Jesus on the inside. When our hearts are grieved we can lift our heads and dry our eyes because the joy of the Lord is our strength. The joy of the Lord is what springs up in our hearts because of the relationship we have with the Father.
John 15:11 says, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John reminds us that we can experience complete joy in Christ’s love. “My joy may be in you.” He wants His joy to be in us, and we attain His joy by coming into relationship with Him. Outside of His love our joy is incomplete.
Do you desire to have the Joy of the Lord?
Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor
Scripture Source: http://www.biblegateway.com (NIV)