Joy is important and valuable, so everyone wants more joy. Everyone is looking for happiness. Where do we find it? People look for joy in material things, in human relationships, in exotic experiences. We’ll look at some New Testament verses that express some practical ways we develop joy.
Joy is Important to God
God is not only concerned about our happiness, he actually commands us to be joyful.
Philippians 4:4 is an imperative: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” We should not be surprised that God commands our joy—since our joy is a barometer of our spiritual condition, it is inherent in our salvation, and it affects our witness for him. God says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
Our joy is important to God.
Joy Comes from Knowing Jesus
Are you sure that you have received Jesus as your Savior? If not, do it now. Put your faith in him and ask him to come into your life. Then, you will have access to the joy that can be found only in him. The world, the flesh, and the devil conspire to convince people that sin brings more fun and happiness than Jesus.
That is the devil’s lie. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). In other words, Jesus said, “Hey, all you people who think that following me is going to be a bore—you should know that the reason I came was so that you can have abundant life.” Jesus also said this: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
Jesus said that if we want joy, then we should follow him. He wants to give us his joy. A lot of people are not happy even though they’re involved in the church; their fellowship with Jesus has grown cold or infrequent.
God Can Carry Our Burdens
We all have burdens sometimes, and some burdens are very heavy. Even when we’re following Jesus faithfully we will experience problems. But one key to joy is obeying God’s command to let him carry our burdens. He can carry our burdens, and he can also carry us. First Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you.” What burden are you carrying? What is draining your joy? “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and he will sustain you.” Give your burden to the Lord.
True joy is found in Christ, and that joy is God’s medicine. If you want to be healthy, you should be happy, and if you want to be happy, you’ll find joy in Christ.
This post is adapted from chapter 7 of Living Well: God’s Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs by Allan Moseley (Lexham Press, 2017).