What is joy?

Salvation in Jesus is where true joy comes from. Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit, as seen in Galatians 5:22-23. It is the Holy Spirit who resides in us, leading and guiding us as we mimic Christ and His characteristics. Joy is one of those characteristics. The Psalmist, David, wrote in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation...” And Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (emphasis added). Therefore, only as we pursue an abiding relationship with Jesus can we experience true and wonderous joy. The joy of Jesus remains even in the harshest of circumstances. James wrote in his epistle (James1:2) that we are to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials” (emphasis added). Joy and trials seem to contradict one another. However, the only way we can do that, especially in incredibly difficult situations such as the death of a loved one or through the illness of an extremely sick child, is to know that there is a Savior who understands you, is with you, and is going to see you through no matter the outcome. It is in those times that His joy is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10b says, “...Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (emphasis added). This does not mean you will never feel sorrow in loss or sickness, but that you do not have to remain in sorrow because of the One, Jesus, who has had victory over both sickness and death. In Psalm 126:5, the Psalmist writes, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy” (emphasis added). You see, there is an expected end when Jesus is at the helm of your life. All we must do is run to the captain of our souls and remain in His presence. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (emphasis added). Joy is also experienced by believers as they are obedient to God’s Word, as they serve others instead of themselves, as they love the unloved, and as they are kind to those who may not deserve it. The word J-O-Y is found 150 times in Scripture. Even though the enemy wants to steal our joy, the Lord has shown us many more ways to experience His joy, all of which begins and ends with us being faithful to follow our faithful and joyous Savior, Jesus.