Neh 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Strength means the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force, or the capacity for endurance. Synonyms for strength include power and might. If we do not have God’s joy we have no strength and can then be overcome by evil.
There are many Hebrew words for joy in the Old Testament. As I studied joy I found it rising up inside my being. Some of the meanings include rejoicing, gladness, hilarity, fierceness, delight, using music and shouting for joy. Other definitions incorporate proclamations of triumph and spinning around in violent joy!
In the New Testament, joy is tethered more to trials and persecution as the church begins to emerge and mature. A summary of meanings here comprise being cheerful and having calm delight in trials, cooperating in the authority of Jesus. Joy is further specified as exulting and boasting in Jesus, having glad hearts, feeling gratitude and receiving God’s grace and friendship. The Apostle Paul talks of his joy as profiting from seeing brotherly love expressed by the Philippians. A final specific reference and my personal favorite is a Greek word that means jumping for joy!
We need joy all the time, wherever we go so that we have endurance and can resist being moved or broken by the enemy. How full is your joy tank?
As a counselor I listen to people who are under the lies of the enemy. As God frees me of lies I then help others find true liberty in Jesus Christ. This is the path to joy. True joy is found in Christ alone. Broken human relationships obscure this truth. Hurting people need to see Jesus in me before they will turn to Him. Intimate relationship with Jesus is the single most important thing I need while on this earth. He shows me the pathway back to joy when hard events hit. (There is a real place in the brain where joy grows.) As I abide in Jesus I am able to show others how to get onto this path so they may recover from toxic emotions and return to joy.
Joy is a big deal to God. He is totally committed to our growing in it. It is tied to His glory! It is the way of the overcomer and it will change the lives of others who see it manifesting in you.
May you be ever-growing in joy