What Does The Bible Say About Joy?
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scoring its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Christian life calls for hard work. It’s necessary to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live soundly we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We may stumble if we look away from him, and perhaps fall if we look back at ourselves and our circumstances surrounding us. To do this we should certainly run for Christ, always keeping him in our sight.
“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)
James didn’t say IF he said WHENEVER we face trials. The point he’s making is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook, if you will, and what it can produce in our lives, such as perseverance and endurance.
What’s The Difference Between Happiness And Joy?
Pastor Jack Wellman tells us there’s a difference between joy and happiness. “The Bible never promises happiness to the believer.” He goes on to say “Happiness is temporarily based on happenings. While joy is from the Lord and can be experienced during trials, suffering, and tests. So, joy is permanent, happiness is fleeting.”
” Though you have not seen him, you Love him; and though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Peter 1:8-9. (NIV)
Biblical joy comes from our knowledge and understanding of the purpose of life, and the hope of living with God for eternity (Psalm 16:11). Joy is a sign that life has found its purpose (John 6:44). Joy comes from God, not from the world. Pure joy is very clear and represents an example of the kind of “ jump for joy”, or “ shout for all to hear joy” that we’ve found life’s purpose of living with God for eternity.
Psalm 126 is one I frequently reflect upon. “ Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was among the nations, “ The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord Has Done great things for us, and we are filled with Joy.” (vs 2-3)(NIV). Not only do God and laughter go together, but God and joy too.
If you are facing a trial right now, know that it will end. Sometimes we must be patient as we wait. God’s great harvest of joy is coming.
Reflection: What changes (if any) do you need to make to have pure Joy? What details do you need to consider about any trials? What can you pray about regarding any specific situation?
Originally published October 25, 2020