There’s a song that goes something like, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart … “It was sung usually in Sunday school or at hymn sings (now I’ve dated myself). I remember singing it many times throughout my “younger years”. Today’s devotion is about joy. What is joy? Here’s the biblical definition.
Joy comes from the Greek word Chara. It means a feeling of great delight or to be glad. Joy can be experienced in many of life’s circumstances and relationships. Most importantly it can be a response to what God is doing in our lives.
Joy and happiness are often interchanged with one another. Both involve emotions and both are pleasurable feelings. However, the Bible uses the word happy 33 times, while joy and rejoice appear over 300 times. I think we have a winner. Some say there is no difference between joy and happiness. Although, I think there is. The difference with happiness is, it comes and goes. Joy stays around and often becomes a characteristic as we mature in our faith. Known as the Fruit of the Spirit. We come to an understanding that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we can choose to be joyful.
Let’s revisit our key verse from the last blog post.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Rejoice always. Rejoicing isn’t something we think about when we are facing trials is it?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” James 1:2-3 (NIV). We’ve all been there; can I get an amen? After all Jesus did say, “In this world you will have trouble”. In the ESV version, the beginning of James 1 says count it all joy. Count is a financial term and it means to evaluate. So what James is telling us is to evaluate the way we look at trials. Let’s face it, we don’t like trials. James is encouraging us to improve our attitude and look at trials from a different perspective. Trials have the potential of producing something good in us, trials can strengthen our faith. For this reason, we can express joy.
Currently, we have all been going through what seems like a testing or trial with Covid 19. I am sure many of us aren’t “counting it all joy” as we stay in our homes. Not to mention the racial tensions and rioting reported to us on a daily basis. I know I’ve been discouraged and I’m not “feeling the joy” so when I say this I am saying this to myself as well. Are we letting current circumstances steal our joy? Have we forgotten that in whatever the circumstance, we can choose joy? Let’s rejoice, knowing that God who will never leave us or forsake us is working on our behalf through it all.
Shining the Light Brighter – Here is where you can dig deeper to help you learn more and apply God’s word to your life.
- Ask God to show you what has been stealing your joy. Ask God to help you to trust in him and to restore your joy.
- Read Psalm 16:8-11. Write it out on a card so you can refer to it when you need encouragement.
- Share what you have learned, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog.