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What is Joy?

Scripture says “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Neh 8:10

We are reminded to rejoice in our salvation: Ps.51:12. Psalm 51:12: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation”

Joy in the Hebrew is chedvah; meaning rejoicing, gladness, joy. In Greek it is chara  cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:

This joy, gladness, is not happiness that depends on our circumstances and our moods; which has to do with our emotions or station in life.  This joy is something that is constant; it is from within us because He lives within. One can have the same joy in terrible circumstance that they would have when all is well, the same attitude of being on the mountain top when they are in the valley.

Paul who wrote to churches from his prison cell said to the Philippians “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 3:1). Phil. 4:3-4: “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

Why? Because He has given you salvation, that He will never leave you and is there comforting us through our trials.

Hab. 3:18-19: “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; he will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.’

Even the angels have joy when a sinner gains salvation and turns back to God. "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

Jer. 15:16: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.”

Hearing the truth of God’s word gives us joy. We see this in Matt 13:20 "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;” same word Chara. The person is happy to hear the truth but eventually is unable to implement it; because he lacks understanding it.

1 Jn 1:4: “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” Have you ever read the Word and had God minister to you and it brought a comfort a peace ands a smile to you face?

Jesus makes two particular statements about joy for us in John 15:11: "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 17:13-14: "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Heb. 12:2: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” What was this joy that would come from the cross which only brought anguish and pain? Us, we were purchased, redeemed from what He endured. Jesus experienced excruciating pain yet he persevere to the outcome- having us. The apostles echoed this sentiment of Jesus’ perseverance “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.” (1Thess. 2:19-20)

We are told to “rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:13). We can have joy through our trials as well.

We are told in James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (1 Cor.10-11) James is telling us to have the consistent calm and confidence through our trials because the Lord id our strength.
Joy is a manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life (Gal.5:22). Rom. 14:17: “ for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

 One day we will stand before him and he will say to us “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (Mt. 25:21).  Because of our faithfulness in serving God is going to give us eternal joy. For now, this joy involves faith 1 Pet. 1:8-9: “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith-- the salvation of your souls.”

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