I heard a speaker in a secular recovery meeting say that if you were not filled with joy you were not working the program. I was doing my best to work out a good program, but I had never felt joy. I did not believe this person, but joy eluded me, and I so wanted to find it. For years after that day, I searched for the secret to obtaining this state of being. My journey was of no consequence until I understood that I needed a relationship and intimacy with Jesus. It had been decades since I accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I was still running my own show. It was not until I made Him my Lord that joy would be revealed.  

Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 tells us, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”.  So what are some ways the Holy Spirit tells us to walk?

First, he helps us understand our place in relationship to Jesus. We are not the bridegroom, but the best man (or woman). “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.” John 3:29

In his Gospel, John wrote this of when John the Baptist was questioned about Jesus’ authority to Baptise. As Guzik explains, “John explained to his followers that he was like the best man at a wedding; he isn’t the bridegroom. In the Jewish wedding customs of that day, the friend of the bridegroom arranged many of the details of the wedding and brought the bride to the groom. Nevertheless, the friend of the bridegroom was never the focus of attention, and wanted it that way. As John the Baptist continued, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30. He was filled with joy, not envy, resentment or anger, to be the forerunner to Jesus, then step aside when it was the Savior’s time to take over. Are we doing that in our walk with the Lord? Or are we trying to be the headliner of His plans?

Another important key to joy comes from obedience. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 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, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:9‭-‬11. Jesus is filled with joy when we are obedient to Him and in turn He fills us with that joy.

In his second book of the Bible, John tells us, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 
1 John 1:3‭-‬4

The result of fellowship with God and other believers is fullness of joy. “This joy is an abiding sense of optimism and cheerfulness based on God, as opposed to happiness, which is a sense of optimism and cheerfulness based on circumstances.” Guzik

As Jesus prepared the disciples for His earthly departure, He told them of the Father’s love for them, and He prayed for them. Once again, in this prayer, He expressed that He wanted His joy to remain in them and be full. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves, John 17:13.

If Jesus was so concerned for joy among His disciples that He prayed for it, we can know that He is also concerned that we have joy. God’s purpose is to multiply joy in our lives, not to subtract it. The world, the flesh, and the devil would tell us something different, but God wants joy fulfilled in our lives. Guzik

The topic of joy is prevalent in both the Old and New Testament. Jesus was filled with joy through his relationship with the Father. He wants us to have the same. It is not found in things of this world, but in the eternal. There are many examples in Scripture of those who felt that Joy and Jesus’ direction to it. 

“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24. If you ask, the Holy Spirit will lead you to it. 

As King David came to understand and Peter reiterated in his sermon on Pentacost, 

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

“You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” Acts 2:28

Jesus is waiting to show you the path of life and fill you with His Joy. 

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you and turn His face toward you.

Janice Simpson