The definition of joy triggers the mind as to how God desires us to walk as believers. The Greek word “chara” literally means “calm delight”. That word stems from another Greek word that means to be cheerful or calmly happy.

With so much bad news in this world, it’s good to know that as we take refuge in Jesus, He intends that we have joy. Christian joy (as any other virtue) never means the absence of trouble. Storms will come! (See Matt. 7:24-27.) Paul even wrote in 2 Cor 6:10 that it is possible to be “sorrowful yet always rejoicing”. How? The answer is in the presence of the Risen Christ. His presence, not our circumstances, brings joy, and in Him we can rejoice. The Scriptures do not limit this joy to earth alone for heaven also shares this joy when a sinner repents.

We need to know in the depths of our being that our Lord Jesus intends for us to have a life full of joy as a result of His Word working in our lives. In fact, He exhorts us to come to the Father in prayer through Him that our joy may be full. Real prayer produces real joy. Hallelujah!

Oh, if we could only perceive the kind of life that our loving Christ desires us to have! Certainly there are “heavy” issues, spiritual warfare, and no doubt peaks and valleys. Nonetheless, may we be fully assured from the Word that God has called us into fellowship with Him, that we might have joy.

This joy should be visible “fruit”, evidencing our relationship with God, and the reality of His kingdom in our lives. James exhorts: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”. Peter states that through faith in Christ we can “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory”.

Yes, Christian joy is a source of strength, and God is the source of our joy. The Psalmist declares to us again that in God’s presence is “fullness of joy”, and one day soon Jesus will bring us into the Father’s presence “with exceeding joy”. Now that’s something to rejoice about!