How May I Know True Joy in My Life?
1. Understand what biblical joy is not:
Biblical joy is different from emotional euphoria;
Biblical joy is not dependent on circumstances; it is dependent upon Christ;
Biblical joy is not found in (or through) worldly things. In fact, God commands those who seek joy in sinful things to “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” (James 4:9)
2. Understand the biblical definition of joy:
Dr. David Cloud offers a biblical definition: “Christian joy and rejoicing is, above all else, steadfast confidence in God regardless of one’s circumstances.”
Christian joy involves steadfast confidence is God. In Psalm 16:8, the psalmist writes, “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope… 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Christian joy involves confidence in God regardless of circumstances.
Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas (WHO WERE IN PRISON) prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
4. Understand the Bible way to know biblical joy.
Christian joy is possible only for those who know Christ as Savior.
Romans 5:11 “... we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (See Romans 5:6-11). Be sure that you truly know Christ as your Savior. See bit.ly/CHRiST
Christian joy is possible when we are filled with the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law … 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Be yielded to the Spirit of God).
Christian joy is encouraged when we draw near to God: As we’ve seen in Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope… 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Christian joy is a blessing for those who live righteously. Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
Christian joy is available to those who pray. James 5:13 “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” Pray that the LORD would give you a true confidence in Christ. Pray for grace to yield to the Holy Spirit, to draw close to the LORD and to live righteously. Pray for grace to respond to difficulties with confidence that the LORD is working in your life!
Sources for further study: (1) Fruit of the Spirit by Pastor Scott Hanks; (2) Way of Life Encyclopedia.