Part 1

“But the godly are happy; they rejoice before GOD and are overcome with joy,” (Psalm 68:3). “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” (Matt. 5:12). “Rejoice in the LORD always.” I will say it again, “Rejoice,” (Phil. 4:4). Do you have joy? If so, what brings you great joy? I have heard there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness can be based on your circumstances whereas joy is not necessarily connected to your circumstances. Certainly that would be true when it comes to spiritual joy. In each of the three verses above, joy is connected to one’s relationship with GOD and how they live their life. The “godly are happy…” Walking in righteousness, in godliness, brings joy into one’s life.

When we recognize and understand the greatness of our reward in heaven, rejoicing or being filled with joy becomes a natural state we can live in everyday.  But if our outlook on life is only connected to this world and our circumstances, our emotional state will be like riding on a roller coaster—one day up and the next day down.

The disciples frequently missed what the mission and purpose of Jesus was all about. In Luke’s gospel we read how Jesus sent out seventy-two. They were instructed to heal the sick and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near,” (Luke 10:9). Upon their return with “JOY” they said, “LORD, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Jesus replied, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven,” (Luke 10:20).

If you are lacking joy in your life, you might want to ask yourself, “Where is my focus?” If your name is written in the book of life (Revelation 20:15) you can have great joy. Jesus told his disciple right before his betrayal and crucifixion, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy,” (John 16:22).

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