People often mistake joy for happiness. While happiness depends of happenings, joy is independent of exterior forces and only comes from within. Joy in the Bible is a gift from God. He grants to His followers, which gives them freedom, in any situation, at any time. Then they can experience the love and grace of God, regardless of anything going on in the moment.
It may be hard to imagine, but even in misery, one can experience joy.
Joy in the Bible not attached to human event or circumstance
Because joy is not attached to any human event or circumstance, it cannot be removed unless the individual chooses not to embrace it. When a person has joy in their heart, the joy of the Lord, no one can take that away.
The Apostle Paul experienced joy in prison
Even while imprisoned, in chains, the Apostle Paul still found joy. He wrote some of his most significant and powerful letters to fellow believers.
While in prison, Peter and John sang songs of joy to the Lord. James writes of having joy even in dire circumstances, to consider them as “joy.” At Christmas we sing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.” Also, the familiar saying that someone has a “song in their heart” is talking about joy.
Joy in the Bible: Loving God yields joy
We are encouraged and instructed to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” That is a call to be constantly in prayer, or in a prayerful state. Nothing else matters, but your relationship with God. It is a point of focus. Everything else is blocked out.
Being caught up in a terrible situation is not happy, but holding close to the fact that God dearly loves us and cares for us, and promises us life eternal through His own Son, who was sacrificed for our sins, can turn distress into joy.
It’s that knowing deep in one’s heart that God will provide and does not hold back anything for our benefit that makes the difference.
Joy in the Bible is about trusting God in all circumstances
Joy in the Bible is a matter of perspective. People like to prepare for all possibilities, to ensure that there is a good plan in place, an alternative plan if the first one does not work, and trust that everything is going to work out.
However, as the old joke says, when you are up to your waist in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp. This is a whimsical example, but it illustrates a point. In and of ourselves, under our own strength, we are not in control. God is in control.
Trust in God allows us to experience His joy for us
The good news is that if we put our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, He will be with us through all of the trials of life. When we know that God has a purpose for our lives, we can go through trials with joy. We may not understand God’s purpose, but we can understand His steadfast love for us.
James teaches us that when God tests our faith, He is helping us develop patience. The Apostle Paul writes:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).”