Joy - Biblical View

Christian's character virtues are best found in the fruit of the Holy Spirit Gal 5:22-23. It is best that you know Greek to understand the attributes fully. Short of that, different translations will help. Concordance could be of help too. But I find concordance tends to give similar and broader meanings of words rather than specific and differentiating meaning. A 9 views of the Fruit of the Spirit is Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (KJV).

God is Joy
We are all familiar with God is Love (1John 4:8). The nine attributes come from the same fruit of God. So we can also said God is Joy, God is peace, God is... Hence, the Psalmists can say in
  • Psa 16:11  in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 
  • Psa 21:6  For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
Do we taste such joy when we come into the presence of Jesus? If not, do we have the right mindset about Jesus and our Heavenly Father?

We can replace 'love' with 'joy' in 1John 4:7-8 to
  • 1Jn 4:7-8  Beloved, let us rejoice together, for joy is from God, and whoever rejoices has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not rejoice does not know God, because God is joy.
So, if we find ourselves wearing a long-face all day long, we can be sure that we are not aware of the presence of God and not aware of His help. We are carrying too much burden ourselves and forget to cast it onto Him (1Pe 5:7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you).

Kingdom of God is
Paul tell us in Rom 14:17 that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Interplay of the Attributes of the Fruit of Spirit
There is strong relationships among the 9 aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. Love brings peace and peace brings joy which brings patience (able to sustain in long period of suffering) and so forth. We the following verses:
  1. Pro 12:20  ... but those who plan peace have joy.
  2. Isa 29:19  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, ...
  3. Isa 65:18  But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.
Joy is Immovable Inner Strength
Joy comes from within and is from the Lord. It is not taken away but external events but it rejoices at the right and good things (we will cover this in next paragraph). Neh 8:10 for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Joy gives hope... and the strength to move forward to the goal.
  • Rom 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
We build the strength of joy by abiding, yielding to the Spirit at all time and anytime.  Here are some verses for encouragement:
  • Recall His blessings and wonderful creation. 
    • Psa 119:111  Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
  • Let God give you the right word for the moment. 
    • Pro 15:23  To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
    • Joh 15:11  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
    • 1Jn 1:4  And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
       You make known to me the path of life; 
  • Trust in God's wisdom and promises.
    • Ecc 2:26  For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 
  • Seek His righteousness first.
    •  3Jn 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (John's version Mat 6:33)
Joy is Powerful
  • Joy creates big impact on people. It chases gloominess. It put calm in a tensed situations. It is a powerful witnessing power. Love takes time. But joy is contagious and immediate. Try smiling more often. Try saying kind words. Try showing a pleasing and accepting face. It makes the other more calm and makes them joyful too.
    Joy is Restored and Come when things are put right
    • Joy of Salvation & Repentance
      • Luk 15:7  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 
      • Luk 15:10  Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
    • Joy over Sorrow
      • Psa 30:5  For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
      • Psa 126:5  Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
    • Righteousness & Justice
      • Psa 32:11  Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 
      • Psa 33:1  Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright
      • Psa 97:11  Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
      • Psa 98:8  Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together Psa 98:9  before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity
      • Pro 21:15  When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.  
    • Your Welfare
      • Psa 35:27  Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, "Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!"
      • Your dwelling/city Psa 48:1  Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, Psa 48:2  beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
      • enjoyment of wealth: Ecc 5:19  Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God.
      • achievement: Mat 25:23  His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
      • ask & receiving: Joh 16:24  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
    • Friendship: 
      • Joh 17:13  But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 
      • 2Co 1:24  Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. 
      • 1Th 2:20  For you are our glory and joy. 
      • 2Ti 1:4  As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 
      • Phm 1:7  For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. 
      • 2Jn 1:12  Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
      • 3Jn 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
    • Harmony
      • Php 2:2  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
    Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice. You're in God's Will.
    Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
    1Th 5:16-18  Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing(if you are still worry!). In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (Since it is God's will in whatever situation you are in, you will come out victoriously! Why fuss and be angry? Be joyful and enjoy the journey.)

    We rejoice every where and any where. We rejoice all the time and any time. Not because we are great but because we have the great source of Joy and Power, Jesus Christ within us. Whatever we may find ourselves in, rejoice evermore, because God make us more than conquerors.

    Follow After Joy 随喜
    Chinese has a powerful for joy "随" meaning let it be, follow after . . e.g. 随遇而安 no matter what I encounter, I live with it calmly and comfortably.

    "Rejoice always" can be translated as "随喜“ let it be and rejoice, follow after joy.
    • Be calm and joyful in traffic jams. Rejoice even when you miss your flight. 
    • Return insults with appreciation (thank you for pointing out, I will consider them carefully). 
    • Missed promotion, rejoice with the ones who got them and know that your turn will come soon with this company or head hunted elsewhere. 
    • Even not, God is the one that promote us and His promotion is always better and long lasting. We have insights that others do not know. There are higher objectives and opportunities in the situations you are in. Find them rather than focus on the disappointments and got stuck in self-pity party. Our trust and hope is in the Lord and not our bosses or the economic situations. Be the uniquely you that God has created you for. Rejoice always. Follow after JOY and be like your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    • Bereavements, sicknesses, ... know that God is with you and understand your sorrows, loneliness and fears. He will comfort you, strengthen you, and guide you out. We will see them the other side in the morning of joy.
    (note: 随喜 is also a technical term in Buddhism. 随喜功德 meaning that when you see someone doing good things like giving money, you rejoices with him and you may also join in the good work and accumulate good-rewards. It is something we can learn too. Love is rejoices at the good. But 随喜 is basically Chinese words. I will use the layman version, which means joy in every situation and time. The true meaning of Php 4:4, 1The 5:16)

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