What exactly is joy? It is obviously an emotion. Probably most would think of an event or experience that would prompt or cause a very positive emotion of feeling happy. This joy is controlled by the events in a person’s life, most of which they have little to no control over.
The joy that I desire for myself is a mostly constant feeling of contentment, an up or positive sense that “life is good”, a freedom from anxiety, a positive anticipation of the future, and a strong feeling of security based on an abiding trust in God’s love for me and in His constant control of the details of my life. This joy has no connection to the events or circumstances in my life. The joy that I seek is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5, meaning that the joy I have is put in my heart by God, it is called “the joy of the Lord”. This supernatural joy is not put in us by God arbitrarily, there are conditions that He has made that we must meet in order to be recipients of this great blessing.
One of these conditions is that we abide in His Word. God’s Word is living, supernatural, powerful, and active. The Word of God is the sword of the Holy Spirit. When we faithfully, daily read, memorize, study, and meditate on His Word the joy of the Lord becomes more and more a constant state of being in us. The joy of the Lord becomes our strength against the attacks of the devil, the temptations of the world, and the negativity of our own flesh. One of the questions that I am asked is “how much should I read”? My guideline is, “I read until I am filled with joy”. Often when life is tough, and joy stealers abound I read and meditate on God’s Word for a long time. It is incredibly freeing to know that I can determine my joy level in spite of life, I don’t have to be a victim.
Psalms 119:111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart.