Joy is closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice. Having joy is part of the experience of being a disciple of Jesus. I want to have joy in my life. I want to be joyful.
Is joy a benefit of being a disciple of Jesus? Joy results from discipleship. Jesus asks very penetrating questions of me. Jesus is patient. Jesus is waiting for my answer. Will I accept His joy?
John 15:10–11 — “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
What will I say? I must say, “I hear you Master and I will do what you ask!” I will be your slave. Obedience is critical to being a slave.
“Why do you call me, ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?” ~Jesus | Luke 6:46
Jesus continues on. “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
In some circles, the end game is to be saved. Now that is important but it is not the end game. Jesus outlines three steps:
- Come to Him (be saved and start the disciples journey)
- Hear his words (listen)
- Put them into practice (act and do)
There is more! Jesus wants to give me joy and make me exceedingly glad. I am willing to be filled with His joy and be full. Bring it on Master Jesus.
John 15:10–11 (NASB) — “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
God speaks the truth to me through Jesus, my Master. As a slave, I hear His testimonies. They cause me to rejoice.
Psalm 119:14 (NASB) — I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
How amazing that the gift of the Holy Spirit continually fills me with joy.
- Acts 13:52 (NASB) — And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 16:34 (NASB) — And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
One of the key items in the kingdom of Jesus is joy.
Romans 14:17 (NASB) — For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit brings joy to believers, giving them an inner contentment and happiness which is not dependent upon external circumstances.
The Greek word is χαρά chara, (khar-ah) meaning calm delight, gladness, greatly and to be exceeding joyful.
It is easy to forget about joy. It is essential in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes (aka The Jesus Manifesto) traditionally use the word “blessed”. Most translators agree the better translation is “Happy” or “More than Happy”. For the joy that was set before Jesus, he endured the crucifixion. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
- Romans 15:13 (NASB) — Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Galatians 5:22 (NASB) — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
- Philippians 1:25 (NASB) — Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NASB) — You also became imitators of us and of the Master, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
- Hebrews 10:34 (NASB) — For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.
- 1 Peter 1:6 (NASB) — In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
- 1 Peter 1:8 (NASB) — And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
- Jude 24 (NASB) — Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,