How does that song go again?
“I’ve got the Joy of the Lord in my heart,”
Here are two important things to know about the joy that comes from God:
1. Joy is not an emotion
When people are joyful, they may look happy and feel happy. But Joy is not an emotion. Joy is something given from God. This means that through circumstances, through the worst days of a person’s life, we can still have Joy in our hearts
2. Joy is not the same as being happy
Happiness is an emotion. Being happy depends on what you do and what others do or say to you. Whether or not we are watching TV or doing chores, whether or not it’s a Saturday or a Monday, affects our mood and our happiness level. Joy is not affected by these things.
Joy is not the same as being happy. People often get the two mixed up even adults. Have you ever seen someone and thought; “There’s something different about that person. It’s like no matter what happens in her life, she always seems to be smiling, or seems to be calm. What’s her secret?”
I can finally say with confidence and assurance that the secret is having Joy.
Here’s an example of a person with Joy in his heart. His name was Apostle Paul, or just Paul. He was also once known as Saul.
He was in prison because he was persecuted for being a christian and for telling others about Jesus. Some people thought that Jesus was just a prophet like John, but he was not the savior. Some people thought that Jesus’ disciples had removed his body from the tomb and announced that “Jesus came alive!”
And these same people certainly did not like people who made people Christians, who talked abut a kind of God who saves and loves.
And so, these people, these Religious leaders who were still under the old covenant and liked it that way, plotted Paul’s death. Long story short, Paul ended up in prison. He had done nothing wrong and yet he was punished for what he believed in. He did a noble thing with his life which was telling people about Jesus and leading people to their Savior. And he was punished and ridiculed and persecuted for it. Would you still be happy?
I can’t say if Paul was happy or not. I’ve got to imagine that no one would be in that kind of unfair circumstances. But I can say with confidence, that Paul had something greater than an emotion. He had the Joy of the Lord in his heart. This is the kind of Joy that is like a burning candle inside him. The candle will not be snuffed out because of persecution.
Here are three things that won’t take the Joy out of someone:
- Persecution for believing in God
- Having enemies who hates you for being a christian
- Being in a jail even though you’ve done nothing wrong
Here are things that can snuff out the candle of Joy burning in our hearts:
- Wrong tv-watching TV with swear words, graphic violence or sex scenes
- arguing and complaining-grumbling like the hebrews as they were led out of Egypt
- Disobeying-parents, teachers but also our boss and work colleagues.
Ever feel something bad happening in your heart area when you do any of the above three things? That’s a little of Joy going out of you.
But, here is what can rekindle the fire of Joy in our hearts if the candle ever gets snuffed out:
There is hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He rescues us from our plight and helps us in our fights. Among other things, He gives us Hope.