Joy: Our Commanded Blessing
By Margaret D. Mitchell
1 Thessalonians 5:16 TPT says, "Let joy be your continual feast."
1 Peter 1:8-9 TPT say, "…through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory!"
According to the Tyndale Bible Dictionary, there are two distinct types of joy: One is a feeling, which is not commanded. The other is an action, which is commanded.
In regards to joy being a feeling, this dictionary says, "Joy is a feeling called forth by well-being, success, or good fortune. A person automatically experiences it because of certain favorable circumstances. It cannot be commanded" (Ps 137:1-6).
In regards to joy being an action, this same dictionary says, "There is a joy that Scripture commands. That joy is action that can be engaged in regardless of how the person feels. Joy in adverse circumstances is possible only as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, who is present in every Christian" (Mt 5:11-12, Phil 4:4, 1 Thes 5:16, Jas 1:2).
Galatians 5:22 TPT affirms this by saying, "But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless."
So this divine victory, expressed as joy, is what we have inside of us—sealed in our spirit as believers. And, it can overflow as we rejoice in The Lord, regardless of circumstance.
God greatly honors our intentional choice to rejoice in Him, despite enemy resistance.
Romans 5:2 says, “…as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory,” “incredible joy bursts forth within us.”
Proverbs 28:12 TPT tells us, "The triumphant joy of God’s lovers releases great glory..."
Rejoicing in The Lord honors God, which invites Him to pour out His Spirit, not only through us like a fountain, but also upon us from Heaven above.
I have experienced this many times during praise and worship sessions, especially when my heart's cry has been desperate.
There's nothing more overwhelmingly satisfying, joyful and powerful than the tangible, glorious Presence of Almighty God, where all of His fruit is expressed as love.
Psalm 84:10 TPT says, "For just one day of intimacy with you is like a thousand days of joy rolled into one!..."
If you've never experienced this level of intimate joy, I invite you to try:
Play some worship music.
Worship God for an hour, focusing entirely on Him.
Then, see what happens.
A breaking through of enemy resistance into a heavenly realm occurs.
In God’s Glory-Presence, even more breakthrough occurs (Ps 35:9, 51:12, 145:7)!
Peace, revelation and healing occurs as the power of God is released.
So, if you need a lift from whatever is weighing you down, rejoice in The Lord.
Joy is our strength.
We know this from Nehemiah 8:10 AMPC, which commands us to, "...be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold."
Friends, we have a decision to make to remain on the side of victory by intentionally choosing to rejoice in The Lord with gladness, no matter what our circumstances or how we feel.
Romans 12:12 TPT encourages us to let our “hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times."
Joy is a mighty weapon—as an escape from enemy traps (Pr 29:6 TPT) and a protective covering that the enemy cannot enter into (Ps 5:11-12 TPT)!
Friends, we have so much to be joyful for, beginning with our salvation. God has seated us in powerful victory. He has the final Word over our circumstances when we trust and obey Him (Ps 28:7, 119:2, 14; Pr 8:32).
Psalm 119:56 TPT reveals, "All this joy is mine as I follow your ways!"
Friends, my prayer for you is this…
Lord, Thank You for revealing to us “the pathways to life” and for filling us with “euphoria" (Acts 2:28 TPT)!
"…Let them all be glad, those who turn aside to hide themselves in you. May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in your presence as they sing and rejoice. Then every lover of your name will burst forth with endless joy. Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy” (Ps 5:11-12 TPT)
Lord, May Your strength be our “song of joy. At each and every sunrise,” may the “lyrics of” Your “love fill the air!” May You become our “glory-fortress, a stronghold in” our “day of distress" (Ps 59:16 TPT).
Lord, May Your victory heap blessing after blessing upon us as we rejoice before Your face (Ps 21:6). And, may Your Words of wisdom bring us joy…for Kingdom purposes (Pr 8:34).
In Jesus’ Mighty Name.
"Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!" (Ro 15:13 TPT)!
“Go ahead--sing your brand-new song to the Lord! He is famous for his miracles and marvels, for he is victorious through his mighty power and holy strength” (Ps 98:1 TPT).
To God be the glory!
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.