“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ”
– Romans 14:17 NKJV
Religion often paints Jesus as a man of many sorrows. It rarely talks about the joyful Jesus, the Jesus who wanted to bring joy everywhere he went. This is the Jesus who turned water into wine during a joyous occasion: a wedding. This is the Jesus who loved every little child who came to him.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was full of joy and he even came to the world so we could be full of joy (1 Peter 1:8). Jesus came and brought joy to the world by his very presence and has left us with a charge to spread that joy along with the good and joyful news (Luke 1:14; Luke 2:10). So if Jesus was all about joy, shouldn’t we be full of joy too?
First, joy is not a what, it’s a who, and His name is Jesus. Joy is a unique attribute of every Christian (Psalms 105:43). Every disciple of God must not only be filled with the Holy Spirit, but he must also be filled with joy (Acts 13:52; John 16:24). Joy should be your signature mark, revealing that you are an heir of the kingdom of God. It is not only your privilege but it is also your responsibility to live with a visible yet unspeakable joy.
As such, remember that you can choose joy. You have a say over every negative emotion you experience (pain, grief, sadness, depression, etc.). You can choose to ignore those emotions, share them with every ear willing to hear (only to increase their effects) or you can be honest with God about your emotions. By being honest with God, He will exchange your negative emotions for His oil of joy:
“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
– Isaiah 61:3
Joy is also a powerful weapon against the enemy. When you have joy, even in the midst of trials, it confuses the enemy and tears down the effects of his attacks. Indeed, joy is a powerful force and when it spreads, nothing can stop it (unless you let it).
Finally, joy is part of your identity rooted in Christ Jesus; it’s your birth right. When Jesus became your savior, joy became part of the gifts He gave you as part of the fruit of the Spirit. Joy is what the kingdom of God is all about, and so should it be with you!
So walk in joy, live with joy and exuberate joy. If you desire to be whole, you need to add joy to your life, the kind that never fades away… the kind you can only find in Jesus. So as of today, let joy fill your being. Let joy become part of the new you!
I’m so grateful that you are willing to fill me with joy. Thank you for Jesus, my example in all things even when it comes to joy. I receive your joy right now and choose to live each day with this incredible gift. Even in the midst of trial, please remind me to live with unspeakable joy that will confuse the enemy and draw others to you for your glory.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.