“What Is” Series: Joy

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home…it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”–Chuck Patahniuk

Merriam-Webster defines joy (n) as:

  • the emotion evoked by the well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: Delight
  • the expression or exhibition of such emotion: Gaiety
  • a state of happiness or felicity (bliss)
  • a source or cause of delight

Joy is not just a smile or a laugh. Joy is a state of mind–state of contentment, confidence, and hope deep within our souls. Joy is the product of fellowship with the Father and Son (I John 1:3-4).

Joy denotes happiness–if you are joyful then you are happy.

Some phrases that describe joy are: afternoon delight, beside myself with joy, bundle of joy, weep for joy, wish someone joy, joyride, leap for joy, a joy to behold, and pride and joy to name a few.

But how does the Word of God describe joy (NIV):

Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

James 1:2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

John 16-24: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful (joyful) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

John 16:22: “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

I Peter 1:8: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

Romans 14:17: “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Psalms 16:11: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

John 15:11: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Proverbs 10:28: “The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.”

Isaiah 55:12: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

God’s Word is filled with promises that God makes to His people that He will fill them with an “inexpressible and glorious joy”; fill us with “joy in His presence”; “His joy may be in you and your joy may be complete”; and we will “go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” These are wonderful promises to us all that no matter what we are going through–no matter what the circumstances are in our lives–we can be filled with God’s presence and He can fill our hearts with joy as we trust in Him to work everything out for our good.

We serve a mighty God. This should make us all smile and be joyful. Go forth and find joy in the journey God has set before you for “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”