With joy you will draw water
from the fountains of salvation
Zephaniah 3:14, 17
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem! […]
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior,
Who will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
Who will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The Bible is replete with injunctions that we be joyful; the above three passages are examples.
What is joy?
The dictionary defines “joy” as “a state of happiness or felicity.”
Joy is different from happiness in that happiness is a fleeting emotion, but joy is a”state” — the condition of a person — of happiness. As someone once said, “Joy is not a season, it’s a way of living.”
Joy is not based upon whether things are going well or not. Joy is an emotion that comes from the anticipation, acquisition or expectation of something great or wonderful.
Joy consists of at least two components, gratitude and optimism, both of which are beneficial to our health (see my post of October 24, 2021, here).
Have you noticed how what God instructs us to do always turns out to be good for us?
St. Paul tells us joy is one of the fruits or results of having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:6; Romans 14:17), which is why we can be joyful even in the midst of great trials and suffering.
I recently was subjected to malicious rumor-mongering from three nieces-in-law, which reminded me of two aphorisms: (1) No good deed goes unpunished; and (2) Never underestimate the human potential for evil.
Instead of getting angry, I thought of what our Lord Jesus had endured — betrayal by a beloved disciple, abandonment by His friends when He needed them the most, followed by torture and death by crucifixion, the most extreme form of execution that the Romans reserved for the worst criminals.
How can any of our trials and tribulations ever compare to His?
At that thought, I became joyful.
Joy even helped our Lord Jesus Christ endure the cross: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
So be joyful!
Praise the Lord, and let your heart burst with joy!
May the joy and peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
Just watching the birds bathing was so very restful to my soul. Thank you so much.
So THAT’S where all my Hummingbirds went!!
Thanks so much for this post! I’m somehow staying Joyful even through the challenges in my life. As huge as they felt at the beginning,what you reminded me of all Jesus went through really put my problems in perspective. As I catch myself saying more and more frequently, “If THIS is the worst thing that happens to me today,I’m living a blessed life.”
That’s wonderful, truck! God is with you.
Thank you Dr.E for this magnificent post! Joy is given to us by Our Lord in circumstances of sufferings or difficulties, where we are able to laugh at ourselves or the situation, and put such matters in proper perspective, having no anxiety because Jesus gives us peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. How good God is to us! We have to have an attitude of gratitude!