Joy – Finding Your Source

Reading Level: Gratifying

Joy is usually defined as a lasting contentment or fulfillment in life. It is something we all want. The question is, where do we find it?

Most people would agree that joy must be a matter of the spirit.

Happiness is usually defined as short term enjoyment that comes from positive, surrounding events. This is in contrast to joy, which is considered lasting because it is not derived from circumstances but from your inner self, your spirit. The meaning of the common Greek word for joy–chara-consists of calm delight and exceedingly joyful. The Greek word for complete-pleroo-is usually combined with the term for joy; it literally means to “cram full a net,” or figuratively to “satisfy, fill up, fulfill, supply.” This gives us the visual picture that joy is lasting like a calm delight, yet excessive, like an overflowing fishing net, bringing complete satisfaction and fulfillment to our lives. It supplies completely what we desire most in life, yet it comes from within.

You can find your spirit’s source of joy.

Your spirit, the eternal part of you, comes from the eternal Spirit of God. Since your spirit was created by God, did God intend for your spirit to exist in a state of joy? Absolutely. God describes His desire for your joy this way:

I say these things…so that My joy made be made full and complete and perfect in you and you may experience My delight fulfilled in you, that My enjoyment may be perfected in your own soul, and you may have My gladness within you filling your heart. Jn. 17:13

What is significant in this quote is that God states that He desires the source of our joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness to be derived from His joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness.

What aspects of your spiritual existence are the source of joy?

This is in no way a complete list, but it should give you several points to ponder.

Joy from Receiving

One usually thinks about the joy of giving to others, but God desires that His giving to each of us evokes joy.

Now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy, gladness, delight may be full and complete…For the Father Himself tenderly loves you. Jn. 16:24,27

Joy from Interaction

Seeing God’s interaction in one’s life is a source of joy. Remember, in the quote prior, that God does expect you to ask Him for what you need and/or desire.

For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. Ps. 92:4

Joy from a Loving Relationship

Joy comes from the knowledge of God’s love for you. This knowledge should also be your basis for a healthy, unchangeable self-esteem. This quote below uses the same 2 Greek words again for “joy” and “complete.”

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. Jn. 15:9-11

Joy from Trust

The ability to trust in the relationship existing between your spirit and God’s Spirit is another source of joy. The word here translated as trust is the same one usually translated “faith.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. Rom. 15:13

Joy from Guidelines

Even as children feel more safe and secure when raised within a set of guidelines, the guidelines God provides for your life is intended to produce a successful, abundant life, thus being a source of joy.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Ps. 19:8

Joy from God’s Person

Just as you derive joy from spending time in the presence of an earthly person whom you love, spending time in God’s presence (or with His person as this Greek word implies)-your spirit communicating with His Spirit-also evokes a lasting joy. Two points to notice from this quote: First, it again mentions the benefit of His guidelines as being the paths of life and, second, the phrase “fill me with joy” are the same Greek words mentioned above which are usually translated “complete” and “joy.”

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:28

Joy from Comfort

Amid all the struggles that exist in this life, comfort is necessary to continue in a state of joy. God refers to Himself as the “Father of compassion and the God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in ALL our troubles…(2 Cor. 1:3,4)” In the greatest times of anxiety, look for His comfort to bring continuity to your state of joy.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Ps. 94:19

Greek definitions are from Strong’s Dictionary of New Testament Words.

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