Experiencing More Joy
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10, ESV
Do you ever wonder why Christmas sermons so often talk about joy? That’s because the birth of Christ is described as resulting in great joy, as the angel says, the joy of Jesus. But what about the times you just don’t feel it, even as a Christian? Are there practical things that you can do to recover joy, to boost the joy drive in your life? There is! But before I rattle off a list, it’s important to remind the reader or listener that joy starts in the relationship with Christ at the point of one's salvation. Then as the Christian life continues there is the need to continually refill with God’s joy, and lastly it’s important to note that there is a complete, total, and permanent joy renovation of the heart once we get to our final home in heaven. But for now on earth there are several things we can do to grow in our joy.
1. Pray for God to fill you with His joy. In Romans, Paul tells the church that he is praying for them to be filled up with joy, so that their hope may abound. (Rom. 15:13)
2. Spend time with God. As we learn the art of a quiet time or the devotional life with God in regular rhythms of prayer and reading His Word, spending time with Him, we will find joy growing in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit. Joy is one of the nine fruits that God will produce in our lives (Gal. 5:22).
3. Spend time with Christian friends. Joy is contagious. A person who struggles with discernment or depression needs a joyful brother or sister in Christ. Paul says in His letters that he longs to see his friend Timothy so that he may be filled up with joy (2 Tim. 1:4). See other examples in Php 4:1, Phm. 7, Rom. 15:32.
4. Worship Jesus with others. When you worship the Lord with other Christians, a great sense of God’s joy enters the room. God loves it when we worship Him. When Jesus is worshiped, his followers will feel the joy of the Lord in their lives. A sense of happiness and gladness comes over them because Christ is being exalted, and that pleases God. (Lk. 24:52)
5. Live in obedience. When you are living in line with God’s design, life just works better! He is the creator of all. He is the master designer, the architect, the engineer. When we follow His Word, we will find joy in obedience. The bible is filled with countless examples of this (Php. 2:2, I Thes. 1:6, I Jn.1:4).
1. How are you doing in these areas?
2. What can you do differently to grow more?
Lord, grow my joy. Give me Your joy that’s found in Christ. I will spend time with You because You are worth it and I love You and I know You love me and want to teach me more about who I am, who You are and what brings You more joy to this world! In Jesus' name, amen.