THE DUTY OF JOY
We have a responsibility as Christ-followers to have joy. Our Joy should not be sparse or hard to detect. Paul in Philippians 4:4 exhorts all believers to “Rejoice . . .and again . . . rejoice.” That means to joy over and over again. Have joy at the very core of our life. To regularly and routinely practice joy. (Philippians 4:9)
Joy can be described as a cheerful calmness. This is not a feeling we are to manufacture. This joy is not a pile of positive thinking or optimistic oblivion. The joy we are responsible to exhibit is cheerful calmness in all circumstances. Humanly this is not possible. However, this is possible as a result of Christ in us. (Galatians 2:20) The joy we are responsible to have is a product of the Spirit of God in us. (Galatians 5:22) It has been said, “The joy we have in Jesus cannot be extinguished by the circumstances of life.” It was said of Jesus He endured the cross for the joy set before Him. (Hebrew 12:2) We as possessors of Christ have that same joy to endure our circumstances with cheerful calmness. (John 15:11)
It is well known, Right Thinking Leads To Right Living. For us to live right in respect to joy, we must think right in respect to joy. Joy is not optional. Joy is commanded. Paul commands, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) If we didn’t hear the first time, we hear the second time. This is the responsibility of every believer. The sorrows of our life should not rob us of joy. Jesus was known as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. (Isaiah 53:3) Yet, He had joy. Our possession of Him enables us to have joy.
Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life.” In Philippians 4:4, the phrase “In the Lord” is the key. What are you “into”? Are your thoughts, heart, conversation immersed in your difficulties or are your thoughts, heart, and conversations immersed in the greatness of Christ the Savior of your Soul? (2 Peter 3:18) Are you torn apart (anxious) with all the circumstances or are you complete in him (1 John 2:5) with cheerful calmness? Is your existence saturated with the unknowns of your situation or is your existence saturated with the knowledge of God that takes every thought captive to Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Joy is possible for every believer. Joy is commanded for every believer. Joy is provided for every believer. Let us daily and hourly put joy into practice in our life. May joy be at the very core of our life. Let us hear this right teaching of joy and live it out today and always.
One key sign of spiritual danger is losing your joy. ~ Jim Johnston
The grace of joy is contagious. C. H. Spurgeon
If the Lord be your joy, your joy will never dry up. ~ C. H. Spurgeon
Spiritual joy never disappoints. ~Jonathan Edwards