The world tells us that joy is something akin to happiness. In fact, dictionary.com gives this definition for joy: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
According to that definition there is very little difference between joy and happiness. Both are seemingly related to circumstances and happenings in our lives.
But would this be the biblical view of joy? Let’s see what scripture says–
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
In these verses, joy seems to be related to salvation and righteousness. John MacArthur describes biblical joy like this–
Biblical joy consists of the deep and abiding confidence that all is well regardless of circumstance and difficulty. It is something very different from worldly happiness. Biblical joy is always related to God and belongs only to those in Christ. It is the permanent possession of every believer–not a whimsical delight that comes and goes as chance offers it opportunity.*
So, are you ready to learn about joy together? Here is the plan–at least for now :)
Mondays — I will present a challenge every week for us to work on together.
Wednesdays — I will continue with Wednesday Wisdom and we will see what some godly men and women have to say about joy.
Thursdays — I will write a normal blog post, trying to keep it related to our theme of the month.
Meanwhile, I will be posting all kinds of things on Facebook. In fact, I just posted a question for all of us yesterday. Why don’t you stop over there and answer it? You can find it here. I will be doing that periodically throughout the month, as well as some other fun things.
And I just want to say here that this will be so much more fun and interesting if you participate! Let me know how your challenges go by commenting here or on the Facebook page. Tell us all how the Lord is working in your life. I am excited to see what the Lord will do this month, as we try to put into practice this fruit of the Spirit!
And don’t forget, you can get a jump start on joy by getting my little mini-devotional called Jumpstart to Joy. You can get this free by subscribing or by liking the Growing4Life Facebook page (don’t forget to send me your e-mail address). Find out more information here.
*From The Epistle of Joy GTY Study Guide