Joy Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Joy in Scripture</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Examples</span></strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 16:11</a>, in God&#39;s presence there is fullness of joy</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 51:12</a>, &quot;Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 90:14</a>, &quot;Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Isaiah 35:9-10</a>, the ransomed or the Lord shall come with everlasting joy</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Job 38:6-8</a>, &quot;while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?&quot;</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 28:8</a>, &quot;So the women&nbsp;left the&nbsp;tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples&quot; (Matt. 28:8). </span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Luke 2:10</a>, &quot;But the angel said to them, &quot;Do not be afraid; for see &mdash; I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 15:11</a>, &quot;I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Acts 16:34</a>, the jailer was filled with joy</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 15:13</a>, &quot;May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">1 Thessalonians 1:6</a>, &quot;in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit&quot;</span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Key Characteristic of God&#39;s Redeemed People</span></strong> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In Scr</span><span class="body-copy">ipture joy comes to angels and humans alike when the work of God is witnessed in both creation and redemption. For now joy can co-exist with sorrow, but the day will come when the sorrows of this broken world will be repaired once and for all, so that only the joy of God&#39;s salvation will remain as the key characteristic of God&#39;s redeemed people.</span></p><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Joy</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">As a fruit of the Spirit</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Like all the spiritual fruit talked about in the New Testament, joy is not something human beings produce on their own. Rather, it is something that Christian believers receive (and then exude) as a result of their union with Christ. The Greek word for joy is chara, which means it is part of that whole wonderful cluster of Greek words for grace, graciousness, gifts, thanksgiving, rejoicing. All of this ties in with the charis of God that saves us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. In this sense, joy is the natural outflowing of our having received grace. Christians can have joy even in the face of sorrow because of their deep-seated belief that in Christ God has made all things right and new again, and that newness cannot be taken away.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Not happiness</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Joy is frequently confused w<span class="body-copy">ith mere happiness. But whereas happiness comes and goes depending on a variety of outward factors, joy pops up in the least likely of places: the bedside of a dying saint, funerals, graveside committals, the aftermath of some great tragedy. Joy does not pretend there is no hurt in life, nor is joy like some happy-face sticker pasted on top of tragedy as a way to blot it out or pretend it&#39;s not really so bad after all. But because joy is rooted in the death of Christ Jesus &mdash; and since that death happened because Jesus took on all the pains and sorrows of this broken world &mdash; joy can exist where happiness </span>cannot.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Joy and hope</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">In Scripture, joy and ho<span class="body-copy">pe are frequently mentioned in almost the same breath. This is a testament to the fact that in this world we still encounter great sorrows and only our hope that the promises of God are true allows us to know that sorrows will not have the last word. &quot;In this world you will have trouble, but take heart: I have overcome the world&quot; (John 16:33, NIV). If joy is rooted in and created by the assurance that we have been saved by grace alone (grace is charis, joy is grace&#39;s first cousin, <em>chara</em>), then hope is what gives joy backbone and strength to persist through even some of the worst troubles this life can dish out t</span>o us.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">&quot;Only the hea<span class="body-copy">rt that hurts has a right to joy. Only the person who cries for the needless death of children has the right to bless God for the gift of life. You truly celebrate the gift of life only when you also cry out in pa</span>in for people whose existence is the constant humiliation of human injustice.&quot; <span class="body-copy-sm">(Smedes, Lewis.&nbsp;<em>How Can It Be All Right When Everything Is Wrong?</em>.&nbsp;Harper &amp; Row, 1982, p. 15)</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">&quot;At Christmas we joy with the natural, unmixed joy of children, but at Easter our joy is highly wrought and refined in its character. It is not the spontaneous joy and unartificial outbreak which the news of Redemption might occasion, but it is thoughtful; it has a long history before it and has run through a long course of feelings before it becomes what it is. Joy is a last feeling and not a first&quot; </span><span class="body-copy-sm">(Quoted in Context, July 1, 1994)</span><span class="body-copy">.</span></p>