According to dictionary.com, “Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure, elation.”
On our mobile phones joy is a smiley face set as an emoji when we message friends.
The Bible looks at joy in a different light. David mentioned in Psalm 30:5, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (NKJV), as he was on the run from King Saul. So it was at the Resurrection of Jesus; night had passed, resurrection came in the morning at dawn. The Light has come, which brought great joy to the disciples and to humanity. No longer in darkness, the breakthrough came in the morning. We are all included in Christ’s death and resurrection, one with Jesus. So let the dawning of our understanding of our oneness in Christ be your joy. This will be the joy which will last for eternity.
Eph. 5:13-14, “Darkness loses its grip upon that which light manifests. Light displaces darkness. This is the message of light. Christ awakens you from your intoxicated slumber and resurrects you out of the death trap of enslaved thought patterns” (Mirrorword). We are no longer slaves to our stinking thinking. Now we are children of Light as per 1 Thess 5:5 (NKJV), “We are not of the night nor of darkness. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness”.
Nehemiah when he addressed the people. Neh 8:9b-10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (NKJV). Knowing who God says he is- he is great. Believing God will do what he says he will do. But the joy of the Lord is something you experience; this can include feelings of good cheer and a vibrant happiness . But joy has a fuller spiritual meaning of expressing God’s goodness that involves more; it is a deep-rooted inspired happiness, based on His goodness and faithfulness. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full”(John 15: 11).
Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Gal 5:22, “Your spirit effortlessly bears the rich harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, integrity, gentleness and self control; all these individually reveal the irresistible attraction of the inner-life of our design” (Mirrorworld). They are not fading, fragile emotions produced by will power. This is the fruit of what you know in your spirit to be true about you. Fruit is the effortless, spontaneous expression of the character of the tree. Rest in the awareness and assurance of who you really are! ( Francois du Toit).
It is interesting to note that when Jesus was asked which was the most important law, he didn’t quote any ‘thou shalt nots’, but instead spoke of the love of God, yourself and others. Thus we speak of joy as being an acronym for Jesus first, then Others and then Yourself. Though if you have not accepted the truth of the freedom Jesus gave you, it will be difficult to love yourself, others and Jesus. Your true joy is totally dependent on your acceptance of the finished work of the cross, the resurrection, and the pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh at Pentecost.