"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures
for evermore" (Ps. 15:11- emphasis added). The absence of pain, sadness, suffering or loneliness is not joy.
The presence of contentment, personal possessions and/or physical pleasure is not joy. Joy is a fruit of
the Spirit, an outcome of a right-standing relationship with God, a result of knowing and serving God. Joy
is a consequence and not a pre-condition of righteous living and one's walk with the Lord. If we have the
joy of the Lord's presence operating within all aspects of our lives we can rejoice in the time of any
trouble or affliction for our confidence is in His sufficiency and not our physical strength. The precious
pearls of Joy and Hope must be safeguarded and vigilantly watched over for they are among the
center-stones of God's gifts to His disciples. If you have lost your joy or hope then be aware you have
created a condition wherefore they may be stolen. See the article at this site on "Strongholds are
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
The apostle Paul writes about joy being boundless even in our times of difficulty and tribulation (2 Cor. 7:4).
One of the most penetrating scriptures addressing joy is found in the book of James, ... "Consider it pure
joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith
develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not
lacking anything" (Jas. 1:2-4) (this particular scripture passage is oft times easier said than lived-out). Joy rises above
circumstances and focuses on the character of God (see Nelson). Joy in the natural realm can be seen as
being in-between gladness and exultation. The object of joy in the spiritual realm is e.g., God Himself, His
promises, the gospel, Christ's kingdom and eternal life (see Unger). Christ tells us that joy can come from
our sorrows ... "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve,
but your grief will turn to joy" (Jn. 16:20). "Experiences of sorrow can prepare for, and enlarge, the
capacity for joy"(see v. 20 - Vines) (again, without a spiritual understanding here, this seems to counter our experience).
The enemy not only attempts to pry the fruits but the gifts of the Lord and His Spirit from the hearts of
believer's, he particularly attempts to steal our joy. If we allow the enemy to invade our joy he has an
opportunistic opening to assault our hope. Hope here being ... "Trustful expectation, particularly with
reference to the fulfillment of God's promises. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God
has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future" (see Holman).
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"( Rom 15:13 - Niv). "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in
prayer" (Rom. 12:12). Guard your joy and your hope as if they were precious pearls from the pasture of the
Lord. Meditate and study daily the closeness between the "...blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of
the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13) and the joy that comes to you through His presence
in your life.