The Bible describes joy as a deep and abiding sense of gladness and delight that comes from a relationship with God. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and is often mentioned as a characteristic of a believer’s life. It is also the source of Strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and perseverance (James 1:2-3 ).
It is important to remember that the absence of joy does not indicate a lack of faith or salvation. Christians can go through seasons of struggle or sorrow that temporarily affect their joy. This trend is noticeable in this perilous season.
The lack of joy can have significant effects on a Christian’s life:
1. Without joy, there can be a sense of spiritual dryness and distance from God, impacting spiritual vitality and passion for the things of God.
2. The absence of joy may lead to increased sadness, discouragement, anxiety, or depression, affecting emotional well-being and a positive outlook on the life we’ve received.
3. Without joy, interactions with others may be marked by irritability, negativity, or a lack of enthusiasm, straining relationships with family, friends, and fellow believers.
4. A lack of joy can weaken a Christian’s ability to effectively share the Gospel and positively impact others, hindering their role as a light to the world.
5. Joy is closely tied to gratitude and a perspective focusing on God’s goodness and blessings. Without joy, maintaining a grateful heart becomes challenging, and negative circumstances may overshadow God’s faithfulness.
Sometimes we look for Joy in all the wrong places and return disappointed and hurt. The only source of Joy is God. Joy is found in the presence of God. There, we experience a deep and abiding joy that cannot be found elsewhere. Joy lasts and depends on contentment but happiness depends only on satisfaction.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
God freely offers us joy, but oftentimes, we seek Him for other reasons. Sometimes deep sorrow and loss can form chains that prevent us from appreciating the joy of the Lord.
Various factors or circumstances can steal joy from our lives. Negative thinking, comparison and envy, unforgiveness and resentment, stress and busyness, self-centeredness, sin and guilt, loss and grief, external circumstances, lack of gratitude, and distorted priorities are some examples. These joy stealers can diminish our positive outlook, contentment, and ability to experience true joy. By recognizing these factors, we can take steps to address them and cultivate a life filled with greater joy and contentment.
In Psalm 100:4, King David revealed to us how to tap into the Joy of the Lord at any moment, so lets take the opportunity to delve deeper into this simple but often used verse and draw out our two-step Joyous recipe.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
The first step is the act of thankfulness.
You, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving “-Look and deliberately speak out, this process requires some effort to initiate. It is difficult to be thankful when life is challenging. Have you ever wondered why most prayer sections starts with thanksgiving? It’s because it changes the atmosphere. It breaks chains of sadness, depression, anxiety etc. Let’s try it now! Selah is an indication of prompt meditation.
Remember this, YOU are alive- selah, YOU can breathe- selah, YOU can think- selah, YOU can perceive things- selah, YOU can move your body- selah; therefore give thanks for these.
LOOK around you, who is with you- selah, thank God for that PERSON or PEOPLE, can you HEAR the BIRDS- selah, can you SEE the OCEAN- selah, can you SEE the TREES- selah; give thanks.
Thank God for EVERYTHING that you are, and all the unknown things He’s doing- selah
Meditate on all things you are thankful about until you receive enlightenment. Note that, as you meditate, on the doings of God your eyes will pop open, to the NATURE of God in relation to what He has done in your life.
This is where our second step begins. “enter into his court with praises”. This part is much easier to do after you breakthrough the huddle of thanksgiving.
Here you begin to praise God’s BEING, or PERSONALITY. You can’t be enlightened about the PERSON of God unless you meditate on his doings. And His works or doings reveal His Glorious Being.
Example: Lord, You made me because YOU ARE GOOD, You CARE for my every need. You are GREAT AND GREATLY to be praised. As you can see, our focus is on His nature of being Good, caring, great etc.
Immediately you begin to fill your mouth with God’s Grandeur, He fills you up with laughter. You begin to realize that your life is worth living and that, that day is a day the lord has truly made for you.
For you can make you glad by your deeds, Lord; I will sing for joy at what your hands have done. Psalm 92;4
Is that all? Yes, Yes! That’s all you need to pump Joy into your life. It’s about You and God. It’s easy to be complacent about these to steps but each has a transforming power.
There’s Joy in our salvation, which can swing like a pendulum in the presence of life’s challenging winds, but we also have an unlimited supply of God’s goodness and Grace. With the Joy of the Lord, we can sing the Lord’s song even in strange lands!!
Maintaining your joy requires intentional effort and involves cultivating a heart of thanksgiving, adopting a positive mindset( Philippians 4:8), nurturing relationships, practicing self-care, forgiveness, and service, staying connected to God, embracing laughter and humor (Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones), practicing resilience, and living in the present moment. It is important to personalize these strategies based on individual preferences and needs to make joy a regular part of your life.
As we receive Joy from the Lord each day we can cultivate it on the soil of our heart and share its fruits to all those around us. You as a person will emit Joy every you go. Joy changes atmospheres!
Brothers and Sister, Joy awaits you!
Lord, Help me to understand and embrace the true meaning of joy as I walk in relationship with You. Open my eyes to see the beauty and blessings that surround me, even in the midst of challenges and difficulties. In Jesus name Amen