What is “JOY”? The Oxford English dictionary defines “JOY” as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” I love that definition and by extension, I would just love to be in that place of joy all the time! But being in a state of joy does not just come upon a person. One has to consciously make an effort to be in a joyful state. It is a matter of choice. Nobody else should be responsible for your joy. Joy is a must for the believer, for after all, it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God. There are numerous benefits that accrue to the one who is filled with joy.

When one is filled with Joy it provokes abundance and generosity. The relatives of Israel; their bothers Naphtali, Issachar and Zebulun brought them lots of goodies at a time when they all agreed that David should be made king   “for there was great joy throughout the land of Israel”. 1Chronicles 12: 38 – 40 Similarly at the dedication of the temple in (Ezra 6), we see how the Israelites, filled with joy, gave so much as offerings  and were caused to find favour before a king who encouraged them and strengthened their hands in the work of the house of God . (Ezra 6:16, 17 & 22)

When one’s heart is filled with joy, heavens are open unto them and their prayers are answered. (2 Chronicles 30: 26 & 27), such a heart will also attract honour wherever it goes (Esther 8:16) and it is in a joyful state of mind that strength is birthed while sadness and depression will no longer have a place to stay. (Nehemiah 8: 10)

Now there’s more. Each day is a new opportunity to be filled with joy. So do not let it slip away. Look forward to the morning. It brings Joy!  (Psalm 30:5.) Joy also invites healing to the body. So says Psalm 51:8.Where there is emptiness it is never a pretty sight to behold. But fill that empty space with joy and watch the ugliness of barrenness disappear. “He makes the barren woman live in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)” Psalms 113:9 AMP

It happens that joy is a vehicle of peace. If you have joy you will naturally be at peace (Proverbs 12:20) and when at peace, there will be no need to fear and I think this is why the angel told the shepherds watching their flocks to not be afraid for he brought glad tidings of great joy (Luke 2:10) also in addition to this, joy causes yokes to be broken and heavy burdens to be lifted (Isaiah 9: 3& 4). In the absence of fear therefore and in a place of peace and joy, it follows that comfort would an added advantage regardless of what is going on around us.(2 Corinthians 7:4) Wow!! There is so much I will get for just being happy, joyful and in a good mood. Awesome!

Yet, the absence of joy can have serious negative consequences on us. “The Lord blessed you in every way, but you would not serve him with glad and joyful hearts.  So then, you will serve the enemies that the Lord is going to send against you. You will be hungry, thirsty, and naked—in need of everything. The Lord will oppress you harshly until you are destroyed. Deuteronomy 28:47&48 AMP.  Oh dear, that is absolutely petrifying but it is the word of God. And this is why we are encouraged to “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing”. Psalms 100:2 KJV

Then how can you consciously bring yourself to a joyful place? Let me share how, with you.  When we pray God will fill us with joy. (Isaiah 56:7) When we study the word of God our hearts will be filled with joy. (Jeremiah 15:16). Ehmm… fasting also promotes a joyful state of mind. So maybe we should not be so terrified of it and do it more often (Zechariah 8:19). And finally, worship triggers joy. (Luke 24: 52)

Therefore, let us make every effort to fill our hearts with JOY always. Pray, Study the word of God, fast as often as you can and Worship the King of Kings.