Words of Life ~ JOY

Not being able in my lifetime, to cover all words that pertain to the life of a Christian, I will continue as the Lord leads in this series Words of Life ~ A to Z  ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.
A few days ago, when I asked a young sister-in-Christ what I could pray for, she spoke this simple word ~ JOY. And so, we will share what the Word of God says about this precious word describing the nature and the fruit of His children.

JOY is recorded 187 times in the Bible. You can find them here. We will only highlight certain references.

There are many ~ too many and varied ~ definitions for joy in Hebrew and Greek for me to list but you can find them here.

In the Old Testament, joy is referred to as the sound of lifting the voice in 1 Chronicles 15:16 as singers with instruments were appointed for worship.

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”
Psalm 100:1

Isaiah 35:10 speaks of “the ransomed who return to Zion with songs and everlasting joy and gladness.”

“Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” Isaiah 52:9

Joy from the heart produces rejoicing (1 Chronicles 29:9).

For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

Jeremiah 15:16 speaks of God’s Word as the joy and rejoicing of the heart.

True joy has always been associated with the Lord. It is a heavenly gift known only to His people.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalm 16:11

Joy is in the Lord and in His salvation.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation. Psalm 35:9”

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Psalm 51:12

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:18

Joy is often learned and experienced more during or after a time of trial. Difficulties are the means of the Lord planting within us the seed of joy that springs up as it is watered by our tears. Joy may never be known except we go through the dark times. Even His chastisement produces the end result of His joy in us.

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5

“The meek and the poor rejoice in the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:19

Jesus promised His disciples they would be sorrowful at His death.
“ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20

All of the Lord’s blessings ~ “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness are appointed for His people. that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; James 1:2

Jesus taught that those who are persecuted for the Lord’s sake are to “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:23

Paul was “exceeding joyful in all his tribulation.” 2 Corinthians 7:4

Nothing moved Paul, but he was determined to “finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

Paul spoke of the churches in Macedonia ministering to the saints in Jerusalem.

“How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” 2 Corinthians 8:2

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
Colossians 1:11

Hebrews 10:34 speaks of those who “took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”

In Proverbs 12:20 joy is related to peace.

Zephaniah 3:17 speaks of the Lord’s salvation and His rejoicing over His people.

“He will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

I often wondered why Paul listed the fruit of the Spirit in its order ~ love, then joy, then peace. Joy must be the fruit that comes through God’s love for us.

In Matthew 28:8 fear is mixed with great joy.

“Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:7

John the Baptist’s joy was fulfilled because he was the friend of Jesus, the bridegroom.” John 3:29

Jesus’ joy was promised to His disciples.

“These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full.”
John 15:11

“Your heart shall rejoice, your joy that no man taketh from you.” John 16:22

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13

 At His ascension, Jesus’ disciples “worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:” Luke 24:52

Paul spoke of our “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:11

Our pastor often reminds us of the nature of God’s kingdom.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace,
and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 14:17

“And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.” Acts 13:52

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
Galatians 5:22

“The good and faithful servant will enter into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1 Peter 1:8

What a blessed promise of the joy that awaits us in the presence of His glory.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy,”
Jude 1:24

Dear Father, we praise you that you sent your joy to us in Jesus your Son. Thank you, Jesus, that you sent your Holy Spirit to work this joy in us as proof that we belong to you. Holy Spirit, continue to work your power, bearing the fruit of the life of Christ in us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Joy and Contentment

How can I experience joy and contentment during these grueling times? How do I write about joy and contentment in the middle of uncertainty? I don’t know how, but I must. It is part of our work for Christ and His kingdom. It is during these times that He proves His joy in us.

He teaches, and by working His will in us by the power of His Holy Spirit we live, not according to our circumstances, but by our focus upon Him and His calling on our lives. There would never be true joy or contentment if we did not know Him, but Christ in us is the reason for our joy and contentment, no matter how difficult our days.

It has been this Year of Contentment (2017) that He chose to prove an even greater working than before with more trials. Without them we would never know how precious and powerful is His presence with us. His Word is not only powerful and active but also filling and fruitful in the worst of times. From these thoughts we venture to share what His Word says about joy. Please take time to read and meditate on these truths and let them settle in your heart. They will mean more to us than our comments. His Word is truly a lamp to our feet and a light to our path of joy through this wilderness. It is His joy that keeps us content even through the worst of times.

We started this series on contentment stating that all contentment is a gift from God and His Spirit working in us. Joy begins with Him, as with all that describes His kingdom and our relationship with Him, He rejoices over us with joy.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

Even as He initiates joy, there is no true joy apart from Him. Our joy is in Him.

“neither be ye grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.Isaiah 29:19

Jesus speaks of the “good and faithful servant: who will enter into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.” Psalm 43:4

“for the Lord had made them joyful
(Ezra 6:22).

“Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.” Psalm 149:2

Joy in Our Salvation

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

We have joy in God “through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:11

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9

 Joy of the Holy Ghost
Joy is fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17

The God of hope fills with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).

The Joy of Christ is a Full Joy

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
John 16:22

“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Joy Through God’s Word

Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: Jeremiah 15:16

Paul’s joy would not be abated during his last days of persecution, but it would carry him through the remainder of His ministry for the gospel.

 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

Suffering and Temptation

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3

Paul spoke of exceeding joy in tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:4

He prayed for the Colossian church that they may be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:11

Simon Peter wrote, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13

James wrote about “joy through various trials (James 1:2).

Our Joy Is an Unspeakable, Everlasting, and Exceeding Joy

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1 Peter 1:8

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for your joy that is ours through your Son, Jesus Christ, Fill us more and more with your Spirit of joy that cannot be taken from us, no matter the circumstances of this life. Enable us to meditate on your Word, to hide your Word and your joy in our hearts and to live content within your Word, your promises and the great salvation that is ours for eternity. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 Google images

The JOY of the FATHER

Audio:  The JOY of the FATHER (we are presenting an audio of this post to see if this is something our viewers are interested in, to share with friends who are not readers.  Let us know what you think.)


What a blessing it is to serve God and to proclaim His kingdom in this world! He calls us as His children, His image bearers, to “be about the Father’s business.” But even a greater blessing than this is for Him to bid us come away with Him, from the hustle and bustle of His work, to spend time with Him.

Yesterday, after months of steady, and sometimes stressful, labor, it seemed as if the Father was leading me to sense His presence away from the work, just to enjoy Him.

It was not too many years ago that the Shorter Catechism became a special gift from Him. Although there are 107 questions and answers in this little booklet, the first one is the most important; one that has had a great impact on my life

Q.  What is the chief end of man?

A.   The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

What? Enjoy God? From what I had learned from my childhood, my sense of God was to fear him. Most of what I knew was in relationship to His wrath. Enjoying God was not a doctrine with which I was familiar. When I discovered this new teaching, the first thought of glorifying God came across as something that I had to do, but did not know how.

To enjoy God was not contemplated until later. Finally, there came the realization that enjoying God had something to do with glorifying Him. These two have a correlation that is bound up in a relationship. My main desire, then, became one of knowing how to enjoy Him.

When our purpose in all of life ~ the mindset of all that we are, what we think, speak and do ~ begins with another person, namely our Creator, the importance of all things shifts from us to Him. The desire of all things is focused upon Him.

As in my writing First Things, about the concept of love, beginning with a Father and passed on to us as His children, so the thing of joy begins with Him, also.

What a beautiful thought is found in Zephaniah 3:7, remembering that Jesus teaches us that God is our Father.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee   with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Joy, like love, is not a natural trait. It is a by-product of a relationship with the source of love and joy. The Father rejoices over His own work, in creating and redeeming His people.

What is our response?

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love your name be joyful in you.” Psalm 5;11

Again, here is His initiation:psalm-16-11

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

And what is our response?

“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” Psalm 43:4

Joy and Meekness

This joy springs from our relationship as humble and meek children before Him. His joy fills the humble earthen vessel.

“The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord.” Isaiah 29:19

Isaiah shows us that our joy is “in my God.” And we understand what He has done to evoke this joy in Him.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

The joy of the Father is the same as the “joy of the Lord.”

     “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

This joy comes, is in and through the Son, Jesus Christ. It is a full joy, a supernatural joy that no man can take away.

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans 5:11

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

“And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.” John 16:22

We also have this joy in the Holy Spirit.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:7

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

The Joy That Was Set Before Jesus

“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Some say that this joy that was set before Him that enabled Jesus to endure the cross, was the joy of saving His people. Was it not more than that? Was it not the same joy that He had in relationship with the Father before time began, and before He came to earth to save His people. Was it not the joy of doing the will of the Father, to please Him, and to accomplish the work that He sent Him to do, and to return to His place with the Father?

Was not His joy a result of glorifying the Father in His life and His death, so that we might fulfill our chief end of glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever?

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 24-25

Reminders for the New School Year

 The spirit of the world says:

“In everything you do ~ HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!

The Spirit of God says:

“Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” (Shorter Catechism)

Anything less than this is a waste of the precious time and talent that God gives us here on this earth.

Years ago, when asked why children go to school, my young granddaughter replied, “So that we can get a job, make money, and buy what we want.”

God’s mandate for His children is for us to learn of Him and so live in accordance with His will and plan for our lives. He gave us minds to receive His instructions and hearts for Him to write on.

This does not mean that we bring children up in ignorance of what is needed for survival and success in this life. The hope of the whole word of God is for growth in the wisdom and knowledge that is above this world, a wisdom that enables the children of God to succeed and flourish in this life above all the wisdom of the world. It is the knowledge of the Most High God who created and sustains with all His provisions and protection. It is His Spirit working in the spirits of His children to know Him, fear Him, and love Him, to obey, worship and serve Him.   This is His working in His children for His own glory. Very few people in this world would pass God’s SAT. There is no equal balance between the two worlds, but there are certain things we should consider as we think about how and what we learn in this life.

FUN is not a Biblical concept, but it has become the center of our culture. It is antithetical to Biblical understanding of true life. In the following parts of this article, we will look at God’s mandate for His people concerning education and life.

rejoice-in-the-Lord-child-boy-smiling-christian-wallpaper_1366x768-1024x575

Music for God’s children ~ Whether Therefore ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

Dear Father, your promises are revealed in your word, promises for an abundant life bound up in your Son, Jesus Christ. Draw us by your Spirit to see all things in light of your glory, the means of our joy and happiness in this world and the next. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.