Very many think they understand Joy. It sounds so simple. Often joy gets classified as happiness.
Joy, being a simple three letter word, many assume that they understand it well.
But understanding and knowing simple words can be more difficult than words with many letters!
Here we will improve our understanding of joy from the perspective of the Bible, the living Word of God.
I remember a sermon where “lack of joy”, i.e. “sorrow” was mentioned to cause blindness, hope to be bleak. Thus “sorrow” causes one to miss out on possibilities when we experience dire and extremely difficult situations. “Sorrow” behaves like a “hopeless” situation, a situation which is dark and no light can be seen!
Whereas a “joyful” person is a person with “hope”. He sees a way, where there seems to be no way. Even when a “joyful” person does not have solutions in hand, “hopes” that he gets a solution by the grace and mercy of God. He is not limited by what he/she sees, hears or knows. Thus his understanding does not limit him. He knows that beyond the realm which is seen, beyond the known realm, exists a realm which is not seen or evident.
He knows because the favour of the Lord is with Him, his expectation and hope will result in some goodness. In all these situations seeing matters and circumstances from the father God’s perspective is important. Knowing God’s perspective empowers one with greater understanding of Gods will.
Joy and repentance
When a sinner turns back to God with repentance, much joy is birthed as much as there is great joy. Jesus explains what causes joy in the Gospel of Like. I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:7-10 NKJV)
Relationship between Joy and Hope
Our God is a God of Hope. This verse emphasizes this point. God fills us up with joy and peace. This is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. Here is the scripture verse.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.(Romans 15:13 NKJV)
We see that God fills us with joy and peace. Read the verse a couple of times until you get this precious pearl of great truth!
Relationship between Hope and Love
Our hope comes from the love of God. Love of God is poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NKJV)
Enduring the Cross
Jesus could endure the cross since he knew the joy of saving mankind as they accepted the crucifixion of Jesus for their salvation. The verse from Hebrews goes like this. 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. (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV) This truth is so precious. Reading and repeating the verse aloud a few times across the next few weeks until this truth is inscribed in our heart.
Is not what Jesus did for us to imitate. As we become aware of the joy and drink of it before we opt to endure the crosses we come across in our daily lives, it increases our peace, stops our anxiety!