God’s desire is for us to experience ALL of Him. We too often do not think of God as having emotions except maybe anger as it has been portrayed to us as His only emotion. It has been long used by people with wrong heart motives. God made us in His image. We have His attributes inside of us. I think we should discover what Joy really means in the Kingdom of God.
Joy has seemed to escape us on a larger scale. I had to dig deep to fully understand Joy. Happiness is a temporary state of our hearts. Joy is inescapable and lasts forever. It is so important to God that he has a whole season dedicated to being joyful. It is called Sukkot and is one of the Fall Festivals or as we know it in the western world, The Feast of Tabernacles. The reason for the commanded Joy is remembering that God redeemed us and restored us. It also is associated with the understanding that Jesus will come dwell with us in the Millennial reign. His presence is something we can’t live without. Knowing that His presence will be on the earth permanently is a highly anticipated event. When people go to Israel they always refer to feeling the presence of God on the footprint of Israel. They are often overcome with tears of Joy when they set foot onto the land of Israel. Jesus walked the land over 2,000 years ago!
Let us look at where Joy comes from.
Galatians 5:22-26 KJV – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Our key to receiving Joy is by learning how to walk in the Spirit of the living God. The next verses are key verses about how it relates to us being connected to God. The Hebrew understanding is that we gain strength being connected to God from HIS JOY.
Romans 15:13 ESV – 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Nehemiah 8:10 ESV – 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
In this verse, the Prophet Nehemiah was a prophet used to re-introduce the people to the festivals after the captivity in Babylon. They were in agreement, (the people) with God’s ways. Therefore they were connected to God. In that they were given His strength to carry on to rebuild Jerusalem. Coming out of captivity was coming into restoration. Life was very hard and difficult in captivity.
Happiness is defined as a state of well being, experiencing pleasant emotions.It then becomes fleeting and unstable. Happiness is conditional to what is going on around you making it very temporary. Happiness is a state of mind, not an attribute that we carry. It is also stated that it should not be confused with joy.
Joy is defined as triumphant, jubilation, rejoicing, exhilaration, elation, bliss, radiance and enjoyment. Joy is present even when things are very hard and long-suffering. Joy also is an attitude we carry that brings hope. It brings hope because by God’s Spirit He will accomplish that which we can’t. It gives us strength to believe we will overcome. Joy is a product of God’s love for us to carry through the difficult times and times of increase and blessing. Joy also brings freedom because the burden is God’s, to take care of the problem. Joy hedges us in from discouragement and loss. Lastly, joy is the ultimate picture of God’s light shining through us while we walk out our journey. If someone walks up to you and says that they could never tell what you were going thru and you looked so happy thru it all, then Joy is king of your life!