Have you notice the joy on the face of a dancer when they dance? Or anyone doing something they love. The connection between love and joy is deep. You won’t find true joy without true love. Because joy flows out of love. We enjoy the things we love; we’ll sacrifice our happiness so that the people we love can experience joy. As we dance with the Spirit divine joy should overflow our hearts.
If you want real joy you have to embrace real love.
Today is part 3 of our Fruit of the Spirit series: Joy. You can read part one and two here.
What is Divine Joy?
Divine joy is the joy that flows from God. It is a joy that reorients our lives: joy is a force. Today we are going to study how divine joy empowers our lives. You see when you are filled up with God’s kind of joy you don’t just feel happy, you feel empowered.
God’s joy strengthens us. Nehemiah 8:10 reads, “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” These words are spoken to a people who have returned to their home land after a long captivity. They arrived at a capital city devastated and have begun the process of rebuilding but their future is uncertain. Can they make it? Will they survive? After completing the wall the people gathered to hear God’s word and God spoke this encouraging word through His priest Ezra: God’s joy is your strength.
Paul writes the Romans and says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will able able to separated us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39) When we face uncertain times, like Israel, we can remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love. And from this love flows our joy. So when Ezra says, “The joy of the lord is your strength.” His is pulling on this idea of God’s faithful love. The knowledge of God’s everlasting love produces such joy that it serves as strength ever in the most uncertain times.
We can boldly walk in joy because we know God’s love never fails us.
How Do I Have Divine Joy?
Do a word study on joy in the Bible and you’ll find that joy and salvation are connected. You don’t have one without the other. Salvation is where God’s love is seen most clearly and is where we experience God’s joy most abundantly.
So what does it take to possess a joy like this? Here are a few verse.
- 1st Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Notice the how our love for God produces joy. What is the reason for our love and joy? The salvation of our souls. We see here that if we want to experience God’s kind of joy we must first place our faith in him.
- John 15:10-11, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love just as I have kept my father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” We abide in Jesus’ love through obedience. And when we abide in his love we also abide in his joy. And when we abide in his joy our joy becomes full.
- Psalm 4:7, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” Divine joy is a gift from God.
Joy, like grace, is a gift we receive through faith, “May the god of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Rom. 15:13) We are filled with joy in the same way we are saved; faith. We don’t work for it. There is no mantra to recite. We simply trust in God’s love, dance with the Spirit, and watch hope over flow.
Abide in love, and enjoy the dance.