Joy as an expression of the Spirit living in is a fascinating truth to deal with.
There’s happiness and then there’s joy. There is something about this quality that goes a lot further than a momentary response to something positively stimulating. There is something about this quality that is rich and deep and exists whatever other emotions are currently going on the surface.
There is something about joy that Jesus in particular was keen that His disciples would experience to the full. In informing them of how they should look to be faithful, loving and so fruitful, this was all done for Jesus to ensure the disciples had His joy to the full. They were informed even if they didn’t quite understand at the time what was going on.
Thus when we engage in faith in Jesus and what He has done in making a way for us to be reconciled back to God, we get access to the full joy of Jesus. This is the joy that allows the disciples to respond with rejoicing when they are beaten by the religious rulers because they choose to follow Jesus despite their threats. This joy is what Paul would encourage the church in Philippi to experience throughout his letter to them. When God does something wonderful and we acknowledge it this triggers an outer expression of that deeper joy within. This is why we are to take great delight in the things of God and when we do that we get to truly understanding what God has given us that we are to produce in time.
God gives us reasons to rejoice that can baffle observers when we travel through trying times. God gives us reasons to rejoice that keeps us going whatever the situation. It is for us to remind ourselves of this reality that can then motivate to do what Jesus calls us to do in loving God and others.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden