CAN I HAVE JOY IN MY LIFE?
In this article we will be discussing the following topics. I hope you find this information helpful.
- What is joy?
- Is joy the same as happiness?
- How can I have joy in my life?
- Why do I need joy in my life?
- Can I have joy in my life when times are hard?
- Can I have joy in my life even in times of grief?
- Can joy in my life bring joy to others?
- How can my children have joy in life?
- How can we remain joyful?
- Joy and purpose in life
- What is my purpose in life?
1. What is joy?
Joy is a much desired possession. It is a feeling, but more than a feeling. Joy is a short but powerful word to denote the deep abiding sense of well-being that is marked by confidence and hope. Some would define it as exuberant rejoicing, others as quiet contentment.
Joy is not dependent on circumstances: it can overwhelm you with delight at any time, in any place, and in any circumstances.
Joy gives meaning to life
Joy gives meaning to life and makes life worth living. It is an almost palpable emotion of heartfelt gladness and intense satisfaction. The Bible says joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Joy is a priceless gift.
2. Is joy the same as happiness?
Joy is not happiness. Happiness is not joy. The two words are not synonymous.
So what is happiness?
Happiness is the emotion we feel when our circumstances satisfy our wants and needs. It can come and go as our circumstances change. Sadly, the word happiness often is cheapened to denote pleasure gained by sordid means.
However, happiness generally is a positive word, affiliated with laughter and play, things that produce the “feel-good” hormones and add levity to our lives. There is nothing wrong with wanting happiness, but constant happiness is unrealistic and out of reach.
What is Joy?
Joy, by contrast, is more than a fleeting emotion. It anchors us to the truth of what we have in Christ, whatever our earthly situations.
We all want to be happy. I feel happy when I get to play with my family, fellowship with friends, take long walks outdoors, engage in lively conversation, travel, do volunteer work to fill a real need in someone’s life, or tend to the flowers in my yard.
My children and grandchildren make me happy as we tease and play on words. I am happy when I get to enjoy good food and downtime.These things are enhanced by the overall joy that I know through a forgiving relationship with Jesus. Even in the absence of all these things, however, I can have joy in life through Him.
3. How can I have joy in my life?
Joy is a gift from God above. We cannot manufacture joy: it is made manifest within us. The Bible tells us that the joy is a fruit or something produced by the indwelling Spirit of God. That means we cannot produce it on our own. We can not rev up joy within ourselves to spew forth. We can have joy in life only because of the Lord’s work within us.
You can have joy in your life!
We receive the gift of joy when we receive the gift of salvation through God’s Son Jesus. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, we cannot brag about that joy, but we can reflect upon it and the love and peace that accompany it.
Joy brings a confidence that everything will work out right because God is in control and has prepared a rescue plan for us through Christ. What an indescribable gift!
4. Why do I need joy in my life?
Life is not easy. Living is not for sissies. We need infinite help and guidance. Joy springs from the assurance that God is in control of every detail of our lives.Joy causes us to praise God in every situation, the good and the bad, the known and the unchartered. This world hands us more than we can bear alone. But having confidence in Jesus Christ, God incarnate (in the flesh), who took our sins on the cross when He died so that we could be forgiven and be resurrected from the grave even as He was – well that gives me confidence, assurance and joy that I can have even in the shakiest times of my life.
5) Can I have joy in my life when times are hard?
We often think of joy as being the result of something happening to better our lives. I will have joy in my life when I have a good job, more money, more free time, a better house.
You can have joy even during a pandemic
If we ever thought we had control over these things, the pandemic of 2020 has made us realize how little control we have. But we still can have joy in our lives by trusting that God is ultimately in control, joy in serving others in need, joy in fellowship with other believers, joy in loving our family and neighbors, and joy in yielding control as we acknowledge Christ as our source of hope, love and joy.
You can be joyful even if you don’t feel happy
It is possible to have joy in life even with pain if we are fulfilling our purpose. Everything may not be jolly and happy in our lives as we are raising a family, working at an unfulfilling job that merely pays the bills, struggling with chronic pain or a disability of mind and/or body, living with loneliness or defeat. But through it all, as we trust in God and rest in Him, we can hold onto intense joy.
6) Can I have joy in my life even in times of grief?
Death of a loved one brings overwhelming grief and anything other than happiness. However, because of what He did, we can experience the kind of joy that overrides everything and holds us together.
You can experience joy even during great sadness
When my husband died unexpectedly, I experienced deep sorrow. However, even in the depths of my anguish and pain, I felt profound joy in the comfort of God’s unfailing love. I knew God was lifting me up and had plans for my continuing life here on earth. I also had the assurance that my husband was with the Lord and that we will be reunited someday. We were separated, but we both were partakers of the ultimate joy. Eternal joy.
Joy gives peace and purpose to our lives.
Knowing I can have joy in my life has enabled me to weather the storms, to live more sacrificially, and to be concerned about others’ welfare. Consequently, I have experienced many happy days and have been overwhelmed with joy in the birth of my children and grandchildren and in seeing them dedicate their lives with joy to making this world a better place for all.
With joy we can have a life built on the solid rock of faith in a God who loves us and is in control. In times of loss, happiness eludes us and only joy remains. Because joy is produced by the Spirit of God, it is infinitely and eternally sustainable. A rock on which to stand. A cleft in which to dwell.
7) Can joy in my life bring joy to others?
We all like to feel joyful and want our friends, our spouses, and our children to feel joyful, too. Joy is the second of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” We are incapable of producing these traits/fruits consistently on our own.
We can spread joy to others
The Holy Spirit is gifted to us when, by grace, we receive salvation in Jesus Christ; the seeds are planted. As we allow these seeds to produce fruit by yielding to Him, we become “carriers” of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Our lives can count for the good of others
This is not for bragging rights, because this fruit is a gift to believers. We get weeds in our vineyard, but forgiveness reigns because of His promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. He allows us to shower on those around us the kind of forgiveness and blessings we have so freely received, to show them that they, too, can have joy in life.
8) How can my children have joy in life?
Parents want their children to be happy. We jump around, sing, make goo-goo sounds and feed and tickle toddlers to make them laugh. We try to meet their every need, get them to the “right” places, buy them the latest styles, provide training for every whim or desire they have in order to make their lives happy. We spend money we do not have so that the pre-teen has everything needed to keep up with “everybody else.”
Interestingly, these things may provide momentary happiness; however, joy cannot be bought. The child’s real need is to learn they can have joy in life through the safety of our love, our family, our support, our unity, and our togetherness.
You can teach your children joy by your example
We share the deeper things of life and make our children feel safe, even when happiness may elude them. Their joy is in the love of the home until they are able to grasp the real meaning of joy in surrendering to the Lord, in serving others for His glory, and in being confident that “He who has begun a good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
9. How can we remain joyful?
Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). Wow! What a promise and what an offer! This joy remains when we rest and abide in the promises of God. Then we can experience not only joy, but also many other desired traits of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as we stay connected to God. His Holy Spirit lives within us when we become believers in the facts surrounding Jesus—that He died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead, victorious over Satan. Abiding in Christ brings the joy that sustains us through the trials, tribulations, and defeats that may come our way.
I want this kind of joy in my life. What about you?
10) Joy and purpose in life
We have joy when we are fulfilling our purpose. In Hebrews we read, “Let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus, the source and the goal of our faith. For He Himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and He is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly of Him enduring all that sinful men could say against Him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.”
Jesus knew joy because He was fulfilling His purpose, and he says we can, too.
What is my purpose in life?
I know that part of my purpose is to love others through the power given me by receiving and sharing the fruit of His Spirit in my life – sharing His love, His hope, His joy and His promise of forgiveness to those in my purview. I want to fulfill my purpose by living every day I am given to the fullest.
My life verse that I claim is John 10:10, in which Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” I do not want to miss anything God has offered me to experience and enjoy. And in John 15 He continues, “Abide in my love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
May you find the source of love and joy and claim the promise of living an abundant and fruitful life of joy. You can have joy in life.