Home > 365+ Days of Enjoying God, Christianity > Day 22 of Enjoying God: Joy

Day 22 of Enjoying God: Joy

I am really not in a place of joy.

I am discontent. I am distrustful. I am full of worry and anxiety. I lack peace.

Joy has always been one of my weaker qualities within the Christian life. I struggle with bipolar depression on the physical/mental side of things, but in the Christian life, I also suffer from a severe lack of joy in a lot of areas. Of probably all the fruits of the Spirit, joy competes for first place with patience for Christian qualities I lack.

However, the Bible is clear that joy is an essential quality of God and key to being able to enjoy a part of who He is. Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 21:6 tell us that in God’s presence is “fullness of joy” and joy “with gladness.” And a number of verses throughout the Psalms put this joy into practice, mainly vocally through singing and shouting, but there are also instances in which joy in the Lord is expressed through playing music (Psalm 43:4) and dancing (Jeremiah 31:12-13).

Biblical joy doesn’t seem to be merely happiness (or gladness) although that is a key component of it. Biblical joy includes praise to the Lord. Whenever joy or rejoicing is expressed in the Bible, it is usually accompanied with a form of praise to God. The 2011 Random House Dictionary defines praise in three primary ways:

  1. the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation; laudation.
  2. the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship: a hymn of praise to god.
  3. the state of being approved or admired: The king lived in praise for many years.

It’s not easy to possess joy all the time, but I’m thankful that God calls His children to partake in corporate worship as an act of joy (among other things).

 

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