Intro to Joy

Joy.

It may be a word that you see on Christmas cards, in fancy lettering and sparkles. Or that you hear in songs like For King & Country’s Joy (which if you haven’t listened to it yet, you totally should!). If you read through the bible, you’ll see the word joy in a lot of different places.

In the book of John, before Jesus was betrayed, he spoke to his disciples, saying:

John 16:21-24 ESV

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

This verse inspired me to me pause and think about joy. What it is, why we need it, and how we can get it.

So first of all…

What is Joy?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, there are three main definitions of the word joy.

Joy is:

  1.  The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
  1. A state of happiness or felicity.
  1. A source or cause of delight.

What is Happiness?

The first definition is very similar to happiness:

  1. A state of well-being and contentment or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.

It’s the fuzzy warm feeling you get when you’re surrounded by friends and family, or when you get that new phone that you’ve been wanting for the longest time. 

It’s great at the moment, but eventually, reality comes knocking. You might have a fight with the people you love, or your phone’s screen may shatter, and you might get bad grades or have a really terrible day.

That’s when your bubble of happiness pops. Leaving you feeling empty, sad, angry, and confused.

Changing Seas: Why We Need Joy

I’ve found that when my mood changes a lot, it’s because I’m allowing my circumstances to dictate my feelings. Circumstances are like rollercoasters, taking us up and down from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed.

Think about the ocean. The surface of the water gets hit by sunlight, so it warms up as the sun shines, and cools down when the sun has set. There’s wind, so the surface of the sea is broken up, developing into waves of various sizes. And in some cases, cold temperatures can make the surface of the ocean freeze over completely.

But below the surface, deeper down, the sun and wind can’t reach, and currents help to regulate the temperature of the water so it doesn’t freeze. This part of the ocean is less likely to be affected by storms and rapidly changing temperatures.

Because where there’s stability, there’s peace.

But how can you find stability when your life is anything but stable?

The Source

Merriam Webster’s third definition of joy states that joy is:

A source or cause of delight. 

By that definition, if we choose the right source, we’ll never run out of joy. 

What is the right source? We need a source that won’t change, die, or disappear. This means people, places, animals, and items can’t be our source. Our source needs to be a strong foundation. One that will help us weather the storms of life and emerge unscathed.

This is why God needs to be our source of joy.

He will never change and never leave. He is constant when nothing else in your life is.

How Do We Make God Our Source?

There are two simple ways to make God our source of joy

#1 Spend Time In God’s Word & In His Presence

Psalm 16:11 ESV

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

#2 Just ask Him!

John 16:23-24 ESV

In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Spend time with God and pray, asking him to be your source of joy. He loves it when we rely on him to solve our problems instead of trying to solve them ourselves.

Chasing after happiness instead of seeking the joy God gives us, is like living in a fragile bubble vs living in a sturdy castle. When the storms of life come, which place will provide shelter and safety?

What Now?

Once you have your joy, what do you do with it? Do you treasure it and keep it to yourself, or do you share that joy with other people?

Joy is not a cake. If you give a piece to someone else, it won’t detract from the joy you have. That’s why I like to think of joy as a lit candle. You can use your candle to light the candles of everyone else. Drop a compliment, smile at the people you walk past, and bring light to any room you enter.

Joy won’t only transform your life, but the lives of those you come into contact with.

So don’t be afraid to share the joy you have!

Before You Go…

How do you plan to share your joy with other people?

Let me know in the comments below!

I enjoy reminding people that I’m glad that they’re in my life.

Also…

Have you heard my podcast yet? If not, click here!

Check out last week’s blog!