What is joy?
Joy is the expression of inner contentment. But where does inner contentment come from? It comes from the Lord when you experience His GRACIOUSNESS.
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is GRACIOUS.1 Peter 2:2-3
It is possible that you haven’t tasted the graciousness of God, so in this article I’ll discuss:
1. How to cultivate joy.
2. Ways to express joy.
But before I do that, let’s talk about the difference between happiness and joy.
While happiness depends on outward circumstances and is fleeting, joy comes from an inner assurance that God is for us and is lasting (Romans 8:31).
Having said that, joy doesn’t come automatically, we have to walk in faith in order to EXPERIENCE joy.
How To Cultivate Joy
Joy is not a spectator sport. Joy doesn’t come unless you step out in FAITH. As I discussed in my article on Faith— faith is objective evidence in action! This means that you have to step out in faith based on the promises of the Bible in order to experience JOY.
If you haven’t read my article, Three Steps for Getting God Involved in Your Prayer, I’d like you to do so. I could have called it, Three Steps for Building Joy in Your Life, because I chronicle a day in my life when I stepped out in faith and experienced pure joy.
Joy is built into your life when you experience the graciousness of God. As you move from faith to faith (Romans 1:17) God blesses you from experience to experience and TRUST is developed. From that trust, JOY emerges along with inner contentment.
Cultivate joy by reading your Bible and looking for God’s promises. Believe God, step out in faith, and experience Joy.
These 10 promises will get you started:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.2 Peter 1:4
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.Jeremiah 29:11
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-29
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:29-31
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:37-39
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.Proverbs 1:33
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23
Ways to Express Joy
Other than laughing and crying, here are 3 ways you can express your Joy:
3. Sharing the Gospel
I’ve never been much of a dancer, but then I saw this video on YouTube and it enflamed me. I have no idea if Tommy Franklin is a Christian, I just wanted to take the joy he’d found in dancing and give it to the Lord. Sometimes I’ll go to a quiet place, put on my headsets and let it rip for the Lord. In this there is great joy!
Tommy Franklin - Australia’s Got Talent Audition
King David danced before the Lord. I decided that If he could express his joy for the Lord this way, I could too. Tommy Franklin showed me how.
And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.2 Samuel 6:14
There is a movement in the United States called KRUMPING. K.R.U.M.P. stands for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. Though seemly spiritual in nature, I don’t find it to have the spiritual element I desire. I think spiritual dance should be about praising the Lord, whereas Krumping focuses on the expression of the dancer. I just thought you should know.
Have you ever just put on some headsets and listened to music that praises the Lord? Whenever I do, my heart just SOARS for the Lord. I cry, laugh and just worship the Lord. There is JOY.
I focus on one type of music— worship music. The music I listen to speaks directly to the Lord. It isn’t music that just sings about the Lord. In this way I am able to tell the Lord exactly how I feel about Him.
Here are a couple of examples of the music I’m talking about:
Here I Am To Worship - Phillips, Craig and Dean
Our God - Chris Tomlin
Sharing the Gospel
When you tell people about the HOPE that is in you, you’ll experience JOY.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.1 Peter 3:15
Because that is why you are here. It is your ultimate purpose. You don’t have to be an expert at it. Just tell people YOUR experience— what you’ve SEEN and HEARD (Acts 22:15). I wrote an article about what I do, How To Share Your Faith.
Joy is an expression of the love you have for the Lord because of His faithfulness. As you move from faith to faith in your Christian life, you will experience the graciousness of God— in this Joy grows. Express joy in ways that give glory to God: dance, music, crying, laughing and sharing the gospel with others.
In our next session, I’ll discuss the Fruit of the Spirit– Love.
Fruit of the Spirit Card