Well in thinking about what we can do to get this sought after Joy, I have come across a good semi-definition. J. I. Packer was the man, he says
“Joy is happiness of the heart..”
I like that definition, Joy is incredibly complex, and there is a mountain more to learn about it. But as for a simple definition I think it is quite adequate.
Now… How do you get it??????? How can we get “happiness of the heart”? Some reading and thinking has helped me come up with the following.
You get Joy by Reading the Scriptures – this is where amazing Joy producing truths are recorded, and lived out and shown in the lives of many men who had Joy. David in the Psalms and Paul in the new testament (Philippians in particular) are two examples of many.
You get joy by hearing good preaching – hearing great preachers solidifies the truths found in the word of God. Hearing people living in our society and our day and age explain how truths of God apply to us and how the promises remain valid today is extremely valuable in our fight for Joy.
You get joy by preaching to yourself – clinging to the truths of scripture is hard work. You often hear people coaxing themselves along, saying “Come on Geoff!” or “fred” or “mary” or whatever name. It is the same with helping truths of God flow deep into our hearts. We need to be learning them, meditating on them, and daily showing ourselves how good they are.
You get joy from God – It is God that grants us great Joy, that is why we pray, asking him for it, that is why pray for others, asking that they may have it. Joy is a work of Gods grace onto the life of the believer.
Every sermon you hear, devotion you read, doctrine you study, promise from God you hear, conversation you have about truths of scripture, great Christian book about truthfull topics…. is FOR YOUR JOY!!… Next time you are at church, before the thought, “I have heard all this before” pops into your head, remember, it is reiterating Great truths and its for your Joy!