“What is Joy According to the Bible?
(By Lessons From Home)
The idea of studying joy came to me when I was reading Nehemiah and studying the “joy of the Lord is my strength” verse.
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
The story behind the verse is important. The children of Judah had been exiled to Babylon due to their idolatry. Here they lived among the heathen with no land to call their home. When the years of their punishment are finished, God stirs in the hearts of his faithful servants to start a movement to return home to the land their forefathers had been taken from.
They endure multiple trials, but they strive to rebuild what was destroyed. They ask Ezra the prophet to read to them the Law.
He stands on a wooden platform with hundreds of Jews gathered around him and begins to read the words written centuries before. With thirsty souls the people listen and suddenly the greatness of their sin and disobedience falls upon them and their hearts begin to mourn. The people cry out in repentance.
What a beautiful scene. A whole multitude of people, whose desire is to return to the Lord, raise up their voices as one and repent!
After this, Ezra and Nehemiah declare the day holy and tell the people to rejoice and be glad. They tell them to feast and be happy. Why? Because God has heard them!
What is the difference between joy and happiness? What exactly is the joy of the Lord?
I would first like to point out that happiness is an emotion and that is not what I am referring to when I say joy. Emotions are our natural reactions to situations around us.
I wholeheartedly believe that our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. Joy is the ability to be content believing that God is working all things for our good.
There is a difference between joy and happiness and while we all love the high we get from happiness, true joy is steady and dependable. It is like maturity lol wrought from experience, with a little heartache and faith mixed in.”
( I really like that. Anger, and fear abounds but when we look up, our hearts can feel peace and the joy that only Christ can provide. Lois)