Where Does the Bible Talk about Joy?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2).
Trials of many kinds aren’t joyful, themselves. But when we understand who God is, and how He works all things for good, we experience the joy of Christ. Joy trusts in who God is, over our abilities and the complications of this world.
James continued, “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4). He then goes on to write about wisdom, and asking God for it when we are lacking. Wisdom allows us to wade through trials of many kinds, back to who God is and who we are to Him, and in Christ.
Joy appears more than 200 times in the English Bible, according to David Mathis of Desiring God. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Paul himself tortured Christians before he became one, and then endured all kinds of torture on account of the Gospel. He spoke from experience when he told them to be joyful always, and then he equipped them with how: pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.
Remembering who God is and what He has done for us in the past, refocusing our thoughts to align with His truth, and choosing to be grateful and praise God - even in tough times - is powerful. It ignites the very Spirit of God living in every believer.
Galatians 5:22-23 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We are not able to activate any of those things in any sustaining circumstances without the very Spirit of God in us. He is the source of our joy, which makes it impossible to suppress it.
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