Joy In God
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
“Joy” has been defined as the “smile of happiness, and the flower of glory.”
This joy is-
There is room for a broader “smile of happiness” on the countenance of our life and work. But the smile may be on the face while an aching sorrow is in the heart. This joy comes through the experience of God’s salvation, but how possible it is to know God, and yet, like David, to lose the “joy of His salvation” (Psalm 51.12). Where there is spiritual bondage there can only be a joyless testimony. It is when the captivity of the soul is turned back that the joy becomes so great; then we are like men that dream (Psalm 126.1).
It is the will of Christ that His joy should be in us (John 15.11). Christ’s joy was the joy of conscious fellowship with the Father. This “oil of joy” is a blessed substitute for the spirit of heaviness. No Christian worker should be without it. Even when he goes forth weeping, bearing precious seed, he knows that he will doubtless come back rejoicing, bringing sheaves with him (Psalm 126.5-6). Peter and John found this joy possible even while suffering shame for the Name and cause of Jesus Christ (Acts 5.41; see Acts 16.25).
It is joy “in the Lord” (Isaiah 61.10). It is not joy in ourselves, in anything we have or are. It is joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained reconciliation (Romans 5.11). This holy gladness can come from no other, source, and from no other condition. There is a joy that is like beauty in a face, it is attractive, but only skin deep: this joy is as deep as the heart of the Eternal God; it is joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1.8).
To rejoice in the Lord is to be joyful-
- In His NAME. His Name stands for all that He is in His essential character (Psalm 20.5).
- In His WORK. The redeemed of the Lord shall come with singing, and everlasting joy upon their head (Isaiah 51.11).
- In His WORD. When His words are believed the soul must rejoice, as one who has found great treasure (Nehemiah 8.12).
It is your strength (Nehemiah 8.10) . Joy is strength, in the same sense in which despair is weakness. Joy in the Lord is one of the most aggressive of all spiritual forces. It was D. L. Moody who said that “God never uses a discouraged man.” This joy is a power, because it is the evidence of a life happily adjusted to the perfect will of God. This strength is needed to overcome the manifold temptations that are ever at hand (James 1.1-3), and to uphold when we are made partakers of the sufferings of Christ (1Peter 4.13). If joy in the Lord is to make us strong, then let us rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice. The Lord Himself fulfil His joy in us for His own Name’s sake (John 17.15)
This outline is from Handfuls on Purpose by Robert Lee & James Smith, edited from a King James Bible standpoint.
Smith, James; Lee, Robert. Handfuls On Purpose: For Christian Workers and Bible Students. Kindle Edition.