‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay! And I’m so happy, so very happy. I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart. And I’m so happy, so very happy. I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!’
Were ya’ll singing along? If you were raised anything like I was, this song was sung over and over and over in the Sunday school classes! Even now, years later, I’m teaching the junior choir, and I still hear the children singing this song all of the time! There’s just something about joy. Without it, well, your life would be pretty miserable!
I can’t think of very many people who actually want to live a life without joy. In fact, I think it’s safe to say, everyone desires joy. Joy in your family. Joy in your work. Joy in your church. Joy in your friendships. And the list goes on! We all want joy in our life, but so often, we don’t choose joy. It can be so easy to fall into the mindset that joy is something that just appears in our life. (And yes, I am very guilty of this) We will sit and wonder why we aren’t happy. Paste on a fake smile, and stumble through our day. Deep down inside, we want to be happy, but it just seems like something is wrong.
Trust me, I totally understand! Life gets hard. Life gets busy. Life gets chaotic. Sometimes you will feel like your entire life is turned upside down! People can be hurtful with their words and actions. Disappointments come. Sometimes, you are just having a rough day for one reason or another. And that’s okay. But we need to remember that we have a wonderful Heavenly Father who wants to help us through these times! He wants us to live a life where our joy is full and overflowing! So how can we live a life that is full of True Joy?
A Joy Filled Life Is Not A Life Filled With Sin!
One thing that we need to realize is that sin will never bring joy. Some might say it will bring temporary happiness, but that will never compare to the lasting Joy that only comes from God. The farther away we get from Him, the less joy we will see in our life. You might think that your ‘small sins’ don’t matter, but I guarantee you, they matter a lot more than you might think! Think of the author of Psalms, King David. Was he a perfect man? Absolutely not! But he was still considered a man after God’s own heart. How could that be? Well, even with all of the sins that he had committed, he always came back to God with a humble heart. I would encourage you to read Psalms 51. He acknowledged that he had done wrong. He was asking for forgiveness. With the forgiveness, he was also asking for joy! Verse 8 says, “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.” Yes, sin always brings consequences. By the end of his life, David understood that very well! He knew that you don’t have joy when you are living your life to please yourself. True joy comes from serving God!
A Joy Filled Life Is Filled With Praise!
When you read through the book of Psalms, it is filled with verse after verse about joy, singing, and praising God. All three of those things go hand in hand! I have found that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to sing when I am upset. Like I seriously just cannot do it. But when I’m having a rough day, if I make myself sing, within minutes there is a smile on my face and I can’t stop singing! I have found that this trick works on my siblings too. If I get them to start singing together, they are quickly laughing and smiling again! Singing brings joy, joy brings singing, when you are singing (I’m speaking of Christian songs and hymns) you are praising God, and when you are praising God, you will have joy. And the cycle just keeps going!
A Joy Filled Life Is A Choice!
Having joy in your life is a choice. It’s a choice that you will have to make over and over again. It’s something that we cannot achieve on our own. Just like in every other area of our life, we can only have Joy with God’s help. As Christians, we will ALWAYS have reasons to praise God and have joy in our lives. If you can’t think of anything, let me help you out a little. Salvation. The wonderful gift that God has given to you! Isn’t that more than enough reason to have a smile on our face and joy in our heart? I think so! Choose to serve God. Choose to serve others. Choose to live a life that honors and pleases Him. Choose to have JOY!
A Joy Filled Life Is A Witness!
As Christians, we have a duty to be a good witness for Christ. Others around us see our actions and expressions, they hear the words that we say. God wants our joy to be full and overflowing! It should be visible to others that there is something different in our lives. They should see the true joy that we have in our lives and wonder how they can have it too! Trust me, a genuine smile is something that people notice!
Psalms 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
Psalms 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
Galations 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.