How to Have Joy from the Inside Out
Joy and happiness are often wrongly considered synonymous. Happiness is based on circumstances that benefit us. Things that better our lives.
Abiding joy is trusting that God is ultimately in control and is our source of hope, love, and joy. This is an internal transaction – when Christ come into our lives as Lord and Savior. We then acknowledge him as that source. Joy is the result.
Joy is a fruit produced by the indwelling Spirit of God. When we submit to Jesus as Lord, he enters our hearts and begins to produce fruits of the Spirit, worthwhile fruits, those beyond our natural abilities. We cannot manufacture joy. It is a gift of God. Joy radiates outwardly from a heart filled with the love of God.
Joy Definition – What is Joy?
What is Joy? True joy is a gift from God. It is His presence living in us. Joy comes from believing God, trusting him, following him, and knowing Jesus as Lord.
There will be much joy in our lives when we realize that our identity does not lie in how good we are, but how good Christ is.
Joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is a deep abiding emotion that cannot be produced on our own. Joy is enduring. Joy is immutable, unchangeable, permanent, eternal. It is a gift of God.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit – the Holy Spirit of God. “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.
The word fruits here is a metaphor meaning beneficial and worthy produce. These products give peace and, ultimately, the goal of joy. May we experience that joy in our own hearts!
Some quotes that you may have heard about joy:
“Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it.” C.S. Lewis
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C. S. Lewis
“Joy cannot be pursued. It comes from within. It is a state of being. It does not depend on circumstances, but triumphs over circumstances.” Billy Graham
“Joy is the measure of a happy and healthy life; it is not only a measure of our happiness, but also a measure of our empathy and selflessness.”
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We must choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” Henri Nouwen
“Joy gives a deep abiding inner peace; it is a deep state of contentment, confidence, and hope.”
“It follows then that happiness likely abounds more abundantly in the life of the joyful person. Not ironically, but in a natural order.”
“No one that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.” C.S. Lewis
“Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled. C.S. Lewis
Bible Verses About Joy
“For you are my help; I will sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 63:7
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
“Though you have not seen him, you love him, and you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” I Peter 1:8
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, —— and restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Psalm 51
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:10 (Fulfillment of promise).
The Joy of Creation
In Genesis, the first book in the Bible, we read the story of how God created the world, the Joy of Creation.
It is mind blowing! Fantastic! Amazing! Incredible! God! Yes, only God! Creating the world in all its glory and beauty. The universe! Beyond man’s capacity to grasp.
The Trinity, the three in one Godhead of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Word, being Jesus (see John 1). The power of creation – the display and the unlimited power.
The word Glory (the essence of God) comes to mind. And the joy of seeing the intricacies of nature is proclaimed. God said, “It is good.” The beauty and majesty of nature provide a display of the glory and majesty of God the Creator.
Psalm 104 is a song to express the joy God has in his creation. And today, we too find joy in His creation. “May the glory of the Lord endure forever.” Awesomeness – that same Creator God created me, loves me, and made the way for me to be His child, through His son Jesus. And for His Spirit to live within me, producing fruit such as joy. I believe, help my unbelief!
Love’s Abiding Joy
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11. This is Love’s Abiding Joy.
Abide in joy means to wait for or continue in a place. Be stable and patient, believing. As followers of Christ these words challenge us to remember whatever the world may throw at us, look for the joy. Because joy is from God. We believe that. We rest in that.
Even in the bad times, and there will be bad times, God’s love is constant and dependable. We may have great loss, but in Christ we can have peace because of his abiding love.
Through it all, as believers, God wants us to hold on and trust in Him. He offers us hope when we see no hope.
And joy returns when we think all is lost. This is because He is God, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent – all powerful, all knowing, ever present – and His promises are abiding. They are constant as He is constant.
We cannot see the final ongoing screen. But God, in His infinite mercy and love, can be trusted. We know that the final episode will be the greatest joy.
The Joy of the Lord is My Strength
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.” Psalm 28:7
Life is not easy. Most of us face times of great struggle, pain, and periods of broken-heartedness. Some things we cannot even share. Many of us are left anxious and depressed. Many have loss of resources and are without income.
Others are ignored and ridiculed. Even short episodes of these damaging circumstances can leave us scarred, or perhaps fearful of a repeat.
If it is a healthy and happy period of your life – recognize and appreciate the Lord’s blessing. Praise God for His presence and provision. Dance with joy.
If this is a difficult, sad, and anxiety-filled period of your life – know that God is there for you. Reach out, call on his name, and know the joy of knowing that, whatever the circumstance, Jesus is near, offering salvation and providing hope and a reason and a purpose with an answer.
Don’t give up – you have a friend, a helper, a savior in Him.
So how do we find this joy? Joy comes from being right with God. In a right relationship with Him. Joy comes from knowing that our eternal destination is in Heaven. Forgiven. Accepted. Loved. At home with the Lord for all eternity.
Joy comes in knowing and understanding that we are not made right with God by being good – how good would we have to be? Knowing that we are saved only by God’s grace, not by our works, brings joy. And opens the door to opportunity to help others and fellowship with other believers.
Having access into heaven when we die is not based on the merit system but rather the grace system. Resting in the knowledge that salvation is a gift, not something to be earned. Rejoicing in being the recipient of that gift of grace – a place in heaven forever – a place that we could never earn or buy. It was bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.
God saves individuals because he is affluent in mercy, abundant in love. Our goodness is like worthless straw – but His mercy saves sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
Say yes to God’s great gift of grace. The joy of His Spirit indwelling you will flood your soul. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8.
Joy Comes in the Morning
“Sing praises to the Lord and give thanks to his holy name. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
When we have a sick child, the night is the longest. When dawn breaks, we feel more hopeful. If a loved one is delayed and out of touch, the night is very dark. Fear and dread move in, though uninvited.
Our hope is Jesus; the hope that pierces the darkness. We wait with great expectancy, anticipating the joy of God’s promises and his presence. And the morning always comes. And Jesus always shows up. The Spirit of the Living God pierces the darkness and there is hope again. Amidst the trouble, as well as in the euphoria of triumph, God is in control. And the joy of his presence brings joy and assurance.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25.
How to Find True Joy
Are you happy? Is there deep and abiding joy in your life? Or is there something missing? The presence of God is essential to provide that joy. How to find true joy?
Have you sought this seemingly elusive element? The joy that provides peace, joy, forgiveness, hope and eternal life? No matter how successful you may be in the world’s eye, is there a deep element of peace and satisfaction missing?
The Gift of Life and Joy are yours for the asking. Just turn to the Almighty God, through His Son Jesus, the Christ, who paid the penalty for your sins and offers you complete forgiveness, restoration, fulfilled hope and abundant joy.
Trust Jesus and know Joy. Let God complete you by forgiving you and allow His Spirit to dwell within you. Allow the Spirit to bring forth all the fruits of the spirit as you share truth and love, joy and hope, love and kindness, to others who have an emptiness within, waiting to be filled with hope and joy. And Life!
It’s a wonderful, joyful, hopeful, God-filled day!