Our Devotional on JOY *_*

This was my first online Bible study.
I hope that the LORD blesses your heart!!!!

Music - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

JOY!!!!! What a wonderful word!!! We see it at Christmas time on cards and ornaments and other decorations. We see the words JOY and REJOICE countless times in Scripture. But just what does it mean to YOU? Well, here is what JOY means to me....


Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22&23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Joy is a mind set, not based on life's "happenings" as happiness is. It was shown most purely to us in the life of our Saviour, which I will get into more in depth a little later. But the Apostle Paul tells us to "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:5). Jesus was JOYFUL, so we should "set our minds" to be!!!


Psalm 16:11 tells us quite plainly that "...in [God's] presence is fulness of JOY...." Do you realize that one of the basic attributes of our God is that He is omnipresent, or "everywhere present"? Wow. Do you realize what that means to us as believers, having Almighty God in the person of the Holy Spirit present with us at all times??? We can ALWAYS find FULNESS of JOY, because He is ALWAYS with us!!! Praise Him!!!!


In the midst of EXTREME trials...do you know Job mentions having JOY? Job, who had mental, physical, emotional trials...the death of his children,the loss of his fortune, terrible physical distress, a spouse who rejected God in tribulation, friends who thought sin in his life was the cause of his misery.... Paul tells us in Colossians 1:11 that we are to be "Stregthened with all might, according to [God's] glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with JOYFULNESS;" Uh oh...patience? Longsuffering? and JOYFULNESS? Oh, yes! They go hand in hand.

One of the most beautiful pictures of JOY and REJOICING is found in the book of Philippians...Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. It was written from a Roman prison. Prisons have changed a great deal, and I do not think we can even fathom the filth and stench and darkness of a Roman jail. But there he wrote so eloquently of JOY!!!! One of the plainest, most direct verses being Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the LORD alway: and again I say, Rejoice." I would challenge each of you to read through the book of Philippians any time you need JOY.

But the perfect picture of JOY is found in the life of Jesus..."Who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2). He shared with His disciples in John 15 of Godly love and fruit-bearing, and He told them in verse 11 "These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you, and that your JOY might be full." He wanted those He loved to have this JOY He had. Yes, He was facing the death of the cross, being forsaken by His Father, bearing the sin of the whole world on His holy self. But even through all of this, He had JOY, keeping ETERNITY in view.


I Corinthians 10:31 reads "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." We must use this wonderful fruit of JOY to bring glory to GOD!!! BE JOYFUL!!!! It is SUCH an encouragement to see how so many of you precious sisters have had JOY in the midst of trials, and I KNOW the only way to have that JOY is to have the mind-set of our Saviour and keep eternity in view. We must never use this JOY-fruit selfishly, either to bring the attention to ourselves or to just bask in the positive "feelings". Nothing can squash our JOY more quickly.... One of my favorite lessons as a child was that JOY was spelled out:

    J - Jesus first
    O - Others next
    Y - Yourself last

In a moment of selfishness, our JOY would turn into "YOJ", or more likely, just plain "Y?". *_*


The Psalms are filled with JOY...so we should SING for JOY...Zephaniah tells us that GOD sings for joy!!!! "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17).

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever SHOUT FOR JOY, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." (Psalm 5:11).

Okay, here is a great one..."...Thou SKIPPEDST for JOY...." (Jeremiah 48:27).

And of course, I love the verse about John the Baptist while still in his mother's womb LEAPING FOR JOY at hearing the voice of Mary, Jesus' mother!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with JOY,...." (Philippians 1:4). Praying, making requests, with JOY!

I suppose of all the ways JOY manifests itself in my life, SINGING would be most prominent. I would challenge each of you to, even in the midst of trials, BE JOYFUL! SING for JOY...Scripture songs, hymns.... Many times, I've done just that...often through a tear-choked voice. In closing, let me share with you the words to the song we were singing to my Mom when she drew her last breath and entered into the presence of her heavenly Father....


God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD, though your testing seems long...
In darkness, He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead,
So I looked at the cross of my Saviour instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away!

Now I can see testing comes from above,
God strengthens His children, and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging, more fruit I will bear.

O REJOICE IN THE LORD! He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take!
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

by Ron Hamilton, child of God, cancer survivor (based on Job 23:10)

Joy-Themed Hymns:

(Note of interest: MANY are in celebration of Jesus Christ's birth & resurrection!)

All the Way My Savior Leads Me
As With Gladness Men of Old
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Come, Ye Disconsolate
Deeper and Deeper
Fairest Lord Jesus
Fight the Good Fight With All Thy Might
For the Beauty of the Earth
Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Hallelujah! Jesus Ransomed Me!
How Sweet the Hour
I Surrender All
In the Garden
Jesus, I am Resting, Resting
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Jesus is All the World to Me
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
Joy to the World!
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Love Divine, All Love's Excelling
Our Nation, God, Its Heart to Thee Upraiseth
Rejoice in the LORD
Rejoice--the Lord is King!
Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
Savior, Teach Me Day by Day
Take Time to be Holy
Thanks To God
What Child is This?
While By Our Sheep
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

Joy-themed Children's Songs:
I've got the JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
I've got the JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY down in my heart!
Down in my heart to stay!

I've got JOY down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart!
J - O - Y down in my heart, deep deep down in my heart!
Jesus gave it to me, and nothing can destroy it!
I've got JOY down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart!

Jesus and Others and You--
What a wonderful way to spell JOY!

If you want JOY, real JOY, wonderful JOY,
Let Jesus come into your heart!
If you want JOY, real JOY, wonderful JOY,
Let Jesus come into your heart!
Your sin He'll wash away,
Your night He'll turn to day,
Your life, He'll make it over anew!
If you want JOY, real JOY, wonderful JOY,
Let Jesus come into your heart!


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