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is defined as "intense and ecstatic or exultant happiness" or "the expression
or manifestation of such feeling." Everyone desires to experience joy,
but not everyone knows how to obtain it. The Bible gives us the answer.
Joy is possible for everyone, for Christianity is a religion of
joy! Yes, Christianity is a religion of joy. Why is that?
Jesus was anointed with joy (Hebrews
1:9). He died a cruel death to redeem us from sin,
because providing salvation for us gave Him joy (Hebrews
12:2). And now that He has defeated sin and death,
it gives Jesus great joy to present us without fault to God (Jude
1:24). Therefore, we can see that Jesus Christ did
everything for us due to His joy. Isn't that wonderful?
Now, what about us? What reasons do we
have to feel joy or rejoice?
With all of these wonderful reasons to rejoice,
we can see why Christianity is a religion of great joy! We can experience joy in all
circumstances-good and bad. What a wonderful Savior we serve-He can give
us joy no matter what!
God's Word commands us to rejoice (Philippians
Thessalonians 5:16-18). But just how can we obtain
this wonderful joy?
First, we must know the source. Joy is
from God (Acts
14:14-17). More specifically, joy comes through the
Holy Spirit (Luke
Second, we must know what specific actions
on our part bring joy. These include belief in God (Acts
16:34), trust in God (Romans
15:13), obedience to God (John
15:9-11), sharing the Word (1
John 1:1-4); leading others to Christ (Luke
15:8-10), seeing others receive salvation and stand
Thessalonians 2:19-20; 1
Thessalonians 3:9; 2
John 4; 3
John 3), growing in Christ (Philippians
1:25-26), being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts
13:49-52), fellowship with other Christians (Romans
Timothy 1:4; 2
John 12), unity with other Christians (Philippians
2:1-4), receiving the love of other Christians (2
7), persevering in times of trouble (Acts
Corinthians 7:4; 2
Corinthians 8:2; Colossians
Peter 4:13), and giving one's life for Christ (Philippians
2:17-18). Not only can we obtain joy for ourselves,
though, but we can also contribute to the joy of others by being obedient
to God (Romans
13:17), working with other Christians (2
Corinthians 1:24), and sharing joy with other Christians
Wow! That's a lot to think about, isn't
it? Joy is available for everyone. It is Jesus Christ who has made
it possible. What a Savior! Following Christ isn't an exclusive religion
for a chosen few, it is a means of experiencing joy--and it is for everyone!
Now that's reason to rejoice!
Copyright © 1999 Kimberly
B. Southall. All rights reserved.