Joy is supposed to be the normal experience of every Christian life. God never conceived of a Christian who is not filled with joy.
In fact, Psalm 118:15 says, “The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.”
The word translated as “rejoicing” in this verse means joyful shouting and singing. Not the voice of grumbling and complaining—not the voice of doom and gloom—but the voice of rejoicing that should be heard in our homes and from our lips.
It is interesting to note as you go through the Scriptures, many times joy and rejoicing are found in the company of tests, trials, and problems.
- Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:4, “I’m exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
- James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
- Jesus said in Luke 6:22–23, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!”
- Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
This means when things are going our way or when things are not going our way, when we are on top or when we find ourselves on the bottom, when circumstances are good or when circumstances are hard, we rejoice in the Lord.
One reason is because He is worthy of our shouts and our praises. But another reason is because you need what joy can bring. Isaiah 12:3 tells us that it is with joy that we draw water from the wells of salvation. Jesus tells us that there is a well of “living water” (or a fountain bubbling up with God’s supernatural life) in the heart of every believer (John 4:10–14).
You need the benefits of the life of God, and joy is the bucket from which we draw that life.
Perhaps you might say today…
“Pastor Bayless, how can I rejoice when there are so many things going on in my life? I’ve lost my job. My marriage has just dissolved. I’m pulling out my hair with my kids. I’ve just gotten this diagnosis. How can I rejoice?”
Let me give you two thoughts:
Number one, you need to look for a reason to rejoice.
When Paul was in prison, he wrote to the Philippians and said, “Some people are preaching Christ out of goodwill. Other people are preaching Christ from wrong motives. Their hearts are completely wrong about it, but you know what? At least Christ is being preached, and in this, I will rejoice” (1:15–18, my paraphrase).
Even in prison, Paul found something to rejoice about, and you and I can always find something to rejoice about as well.
Number two, you need to determine that you are going to rejoice as an act of your will.
Habakkuk 3:17–18 says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
You may have unpaid bills, wayward children, or a lingering sickness. You don’t rejoice for those things, but you can rejoice in those things.
Rejoice because God has an answer. Rejoice because He’ll never leave you or forsake you. Rejoice because when you do, the life of God is released and that life has the power to change things.
There is so much more we want to share with you about how to make joy a hallmark of your life as a Christian. That is why we want to send you Pastor Bayless’ 3-message series “The Secret to Unlocking Joy.” This special resource is our gift to thank you for your faithful partnership to help bring a living Jesus to our dying world. Request your copy today.