Joy is the birthright of every believer. If you are living without joy then you are living beneath the privileges of a believer. It is God’s desire for us to live a life of joy. We are told in Nehemiah 8, that the joy of the LORD is our strength. In other words, joy is what brings credibility to the Christian life. Most people are not interested in what we believe, they are only interested if what we claim to have is working for us. They want to know if we are happy. Joy is what shows people that what we claim to have is real. Christian life. So, I want you to consider this question, “do you have joy?” As Christians, we have many weaknesses and strengths, but our greatest strength is joy.
In John 15:11, we read that Jesus talks about joy and He said that our joy is to remain. For many joy is something that is transient, but Jesus teaches that it is to be constant. As we read the Bible, we find that the constancy of our joy is linked to the source of our joy. If we are finding joy in our job, then one day when we lose our job, we will lose our joy. If we are looking for joy in our health, then when the day comes that our health fails, our joy will fail as well.
The Bible teaches that only Jesus Christ can give joy. In John 15:11, we see that Jesus says, “my joy.” Joy comes from Jesus Christ. So, how can a Christian have the “joy of the LORD?”
Well, look at John 15:11 one more time and notice what Jesus says. He says “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” So if we want to find out how to have joy, all we have to do is to figure out what “these things” are.
If you remember, Jesus had just finished talking about one of the ways we share in a relationship with Him and that is like a Vine and a Branch. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branch. The Vine gives life to branch. The only thing a branch is responsible for is too abide. The branch does not produce fruit, it simply bears it. The vine produces the fruit.
As we learn to abide in the Vine, we begin to bear fruit. If you read about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, you will find that joy is listed as one of the divine graces of the Spirit. Joy is a product of the Spirit. All we must do is yield to the Vine. We must be fully dependent upon the Vine. The Vine produces everything we need in our lives, we just get to bear it.
I have wondered for a long time why many young people walk away unsatisfied with the Christian life. I am sure there are many reasons for this, but I think one of the reasons is they have not seen the “Joy of the LORD” in many of our lives. Let us remember that the Joy of the LORD is our strength.