I am on Day 23 of my personal study of joy through the Bible. But it has taken me over a month to get that far. There’s a lot that is just kind of “sitting” in my mind, rolling around, and trying to figure out the right way to express it. But today as I am nearing the end of my study, I looked at several things that Scripture says can bring us joy.
- The Word of God. Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God, but it is replete with statements of how the Psalmist delights in God’s Word, or rejoices in God’s Word. I would suggest a read through this powerful Psalm, but the verses that speak of delight in God’s Word are 14, 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, and 174. Verse 111 states that the Word of God rejoices the heart. Verse 162 says that “I rejoice at Thy Word.”
- Proverbs 23:24 tells us that having righteous and wise children will bring joy to a mother and father. I am trusting the Lord that we are raising our kids to be this kind of children – the ones that bring us joy and not shame or sorrow.
- Proverbs 15:23 states that we can have joy by the answer of our mouth. Being able to say the right thing at the right time can bring joy to our own hearts…much less those around us!
- Luke 15 gives three parables of a lost thing – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost (prodigal) son. In all three instances, when the lost thing is restored, the owner has great joy and calls his friends and relatives to rejoice with him. I know that I have lost important or valuable items before, and I feel sick inside until they are located. These parables teach us the more important truth, that when a sinner repents, it brings joy to heaven. It should bring joy to me, too, to be a part of God’s plan for redeeming men. I can share the Gospel and rejoice when others choose to accept it.
- Romans 5:1-5 tells us a couple more things to rejoice in. The prospect, or the expectation (hope) of the return of Christ and our final redemption for eternity should bring great cause for rejoicing. I know I don’t always rejoice in, or look for, His coming as I ought to!
- We can also rejoice in our tribulations, because we can look ahead and see that God’s purpose is to make us more like Christ. This is the hardest area for me to find joy. I usually start complaining when my circumstances don’t line up how I would choose. James 1:2-3 also tells us to find joy in trials – because it produces patience in our lives.
- Romans 5:11 expresses the fact that we should have joy in our atonement. How often do we take our salvation for granted instead of rejoicing daily that we are no longer hell-bound?
- Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus was able to endure the cross because of the joy on the other side. What is that joy? Joy in knowing that He had finished His task and fulfilled the Will of God. I too can find joy in doing God’s Will for my life.