Joy

sunset

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”1

What comes to our minds when we think of the character of God? Do we realize that He is joyful? As Dallas Willard puts it, God is “…the most joyous being in the universe.” 2 

Jesus is joyful. He turns water into wine at wedding parties 3 and says of His earthly life that He “…came eating and drinking” with tax collectors and sinners. 4 It was foretold that He would be anointed with the oil of joy more than any of His companions5— the happiest man in the world. Jesus desires to share this joy with us; He wants His joy to be in us so that our joy will be complete.6 This joy is ours through the Holy Spirit. 

At the end of one of his psalms, David declares to the LORD with a worshipful heart: “You make known to me the paths of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy.” 7 This is the lived experience of all who have encountered the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus experienced moments where he was full of joy through the Holy Spirit;8 His early disciples knew what it meant to be “…filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit”;9 and the apostle Paul celebrates that the church in Thessalonica is full of the joy of the Spirit. 10 As Paul tells the church in Rome: “…the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 11 O what great and inexpressible joy is ours through our mighty comforter!

~Father, please fill us with joy through the presence of your Spirit. Help us see that we can rejoice, even amid great suffering, because of the surpassing worth of knowing you. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Reflection Questions

1. How can I fight for joy in my present circumstances?

2. What is a tangible way I can share God’s joy with someone?

Referenced Sources

1. Philippians 4:4 NIV

2. Dallas Willard – The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God

3. John 2:1-12

4. Luke 7:34a NIV

5. Psalm 45:7; cf. Hebrews 1:9

6. John 15:11

7. Psalm 16:11a ESV; emphasis added

8. Luke 10:21

9. Acts 13:52

10. 1 Thessalonians 1:6

11. Romans 14:17 NIV; emphasis added

12. VaShawn Mitchell – Joy

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