Why do so many believers struggle to live in the joy of the Lord? For such people, finding joy is like trying to catch a butterfly. No matter how hard they try, the butterfly seems to evade their grasp.
In a moment, I’ll give you my #1 reason why many people are missing out on a joy-filled life. But first I want to highlight some of the Bible’s promises about the amazing benefits you can experience from having God’s joy in your life:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NASB). Joy is a wonderful healing agent for your physical and emotional health.
“A cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15 NASB). Regardless of how things may be going in your outward circumstances today, if you’re feasting on the Lord’s joy you’ll always have an internal supply of sustenance.
“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13 NASB). In a world that puts far too much emphasis on physical beauty, a joyful face is one of the very best ways you can stand out from the crowd.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NASB). On days when your human strength seems depleted, God’s supernatural joy can revitalize you with new energy.
This is just a small sample of how God wants to bless you through His joy. When Christ lives in your heart, joy is a fruit of His Spirit, part of your birthright as a child of God (Galatians 5:22-23).
Yet perhaps you’re thinking at this point, “David, I’ve experienced the joy of the Lord at times, but lately it seems to have vanished.”
I’ve got good news, my friend. Although we’ve all had times when God’s joy seemed a distant memory, we can pray the same prayer King David once prayed: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Psalm 51:12). When you come to the Lord with a contrite heart, as David did, you can be confident He will answer that prayer!
The Source of True Joy
With such great promises about a joy-filled life, why are so many Christians not experiencing the abounding joy God offers? When the life of faith is supposed to be “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8 KJV), why are there so many downcast believers?
Entire books have been written to address this question, but the primary answer is actually quite simple: Too often, people are pursuing joy and happiness as commodities outside of an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father. They think that if they can just change their circumstances and get what they want out of life, joy will automatically fill their heart. But it doesn’t work that way.
King David was a man after God’s own heart, and he had a keen understanding of the source of his joy: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Friend, if you’re seeking more joy in your life today, I hope you’ll let these words sink in. The only place to find lasting joy is in the presence of the Lord. Your circumstances may bounce up and down like a yo-yo, but your joy can be steadfast because of Jesus’ joy within you (John 15:11).
No wonder the apostle Paul could write, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS” (Philippians 4:4). He knew his joy wasn’t based on his circumstances, for he was writing these words from a prison cell!
Sadly, many people’s quest for joy is entirely earthbound, without regard for their eternal destiny. Living for transitory things, they experience only transitory joy and happiness.
However, we see an entirely different dimension to joy in Jesus’ Parable of the Talents. As the two faithful servants were about to enter their home in eternity, they received this beautiful greeting from their Master:
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21).
People often ask me what I think Heaven will be like, and that’s a very important question. Based on this wonderful statement by Jesus, one thing is for sure: Heaven will be a place of great joy for all who are ready to enter in!
What about you, my friend? Are you living in the joy of the Lord today? Will you be ready to step into His unspeakable eternal joy when your earthly life comes to an end?
As Paul prayed for the Romans, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him” (Romans 15:13 NLT).
Find your joy and peace in the Lord!
God bless you,
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.