Today in the 21st Century, depression, sadness and feelings of illegitimacy have reached proportions not seen in many years. There are record numbers of Americans seeking medications to dull down feelings. Many experience joyful high’s, followed by rock bottom lows not really understanding why. Life becomes a rocky roller coaster of thoughts, feelings and emotion. These things have even effected many Christian circles. When we turn to the bible, we see that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is Joy. The logical question for any suffering human being that is looking to find this joy is- “how can I get that?” To access and understand joy, just like anything else- we look to the bible. First the bible gives us insight into whom God gives joy, and whom he doesn’t:
“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.” ~ Ecclesiastes 2:26
“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 can see here that God gives joy to those that are “good in his sight.” In contrast, this verse tells us the opposite of those that are good in his sight describing them as “the sinner.” We can deduce that those that are good in his sight, are those that walk free from sin in righteousness. Biblically, sin defined means to disobey God’s law/God’s 10 commandments (1 John 3:4, Romans 7:7). Righteousness, as mentioned in the verse from Isaiah, biblically defined means to walk according to God’s law/God’s 10 commandments (Deuteronomy 6:25, Isaiah 51:7, Luke 1:6) rooted in God’s word. So here please understand, joy is given BY GOD, to those that walk in righteousness in obedience to God’s commands. Those that choose “sin”, God gives “Travail”. In other words, God doesn’t give anything that is good to those that disobey him. If we are seeking joy, one of the first things we should seek is to be obedient to God. You may wonder, why sometimes you experience extraordinary joyful highs followed by rock bottom lows. This also can be explained in scripture:
“That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” ~ Job 20:5
“Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21
“Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.” Hosea 9:1
We see here that for those that are wicked (sinful) and hypocritical- “folly” is joy to them, and that joy is “but for a moment.” As human beings, we are all sinful creatures. The sinful creature in all of us does not leave by osmosis, rather it takes a work of repentence in every soul. Many churches today are afraid to teach repentance and have rather turned to teachings of acceptance. They teach that God will accept us as we are, sin and all, just simply believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved. The bible teaches that unless we repent of our sins and change to a life of obedience to God and his commandments, we will take our place among the wicked to be judged. While God is long-suffering towards us that we repent of our sins, His nature as defined by the bible clearly reveals he will not accept someone that willfully sins into the kingdom. Because of these acceptance teachings, many Christians have continued in their lives full of sin, experiencing the joy that Job mentioned above that lasts “but for a moment.” Many turn to sinful acts (sex, drugs, drinking, parties, disobedience, stealing, gossiping, lying, mischief, materialism, lavish spending on luxury, accumulating earthly riches, shallow dealings, idolatry in sports and hobbies) to experience a counterfeit form of joy that they come to find only lasts for a moment- and then sends them back to the rock bottom where they came from. True joy is a gift that comes from the Holy Spirit, through obedience to God’s commands from the heart. Unless we constantly repent and change our ways towards obedience to God, we will continue on that destructive roller coaster ride.
“Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. 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. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” ~ Psalm 5:10-12
When we truly turn to God in repentance and seek to change our ways to be obedient to God’s commands, we experience a joy that doesn’t make sense to the worldly. It is a joy that nothing and no one can take away. It is a joy that endures many hardships, persecution, and difficulties of life. Those that walk in obedience to God may be faced with extremely difficult life situations, yet nothing robs them of the joy that they possess, given as a gift from God through His Spirit. These people love God, they love his name, his ways, and his commands.
“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” ~ 2 Corinthians 7:4
Would you like to experience this joy? We encourage you to make the leap, repent, and seek to live a life that is obedient to our Creator and his commandments as outlined in the Holy Scriptures. If you are seeking the secret to joy, the bible makes it known and quite clear. Joy doesn’t come by just believing in Jesus (even Satan believes in Jesus), rather it comes by believing in Him and following the narrow path that he walked of obedience to God. To find the instruction booklet to joy, look in the bible- read it, study God’s word and learn of Him. We pray that you will find this everlasting joy that is available to all that repent and decide to seek a life free from sin, humbly walking in Jesus’ righteousness to the best of our human ability in Christ.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” ~ John 15:10-11
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” ~ Luke 15:17