“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth” (Psalm 100:1).
The psalmist encourages us repeatedly to have joy and to make noise about it. How often do we dwell upon the negative and keep quiet about the positive in our lives and in our world? Our challenge is to shout it from the mountain top and share our joy with others!
Joy is more than an emotion, more than happiness. When the Bible speaks about joy, the writers are addressing a dimension way beyond happy. In fact, we can, and often do, “fake” happy. Perhaps that is better than being negative or rude, but is less than genuine, nonetheless. I suggest that we cannot fake, force or fabricate joy – joy is genuine, pure, all-encompassing – an experience. The Bible tells us that God is love. When that genuine and unconditional love of God consumes us, we experience joy.
Borrowing from Jeff Foxworthy to provide examples of joy, I challenge you to begin a list of joyful experiences in your own life.
If you have looked into the face of a newborn baby, you have experienced JOY.
If you have felt the sweet hug of a grandchild, you have experienced JOY.
If you have allowed Jesus in your heart and accepted him as Savior, you have experienced JOY.
If you have genuinely rejoiced with others over good fortune in their lives, you have experienced JOY.
If you have held a dying parent whom you know is seeing the face of Jesus, you have experienced JOY.
Perhaps the feeling of joy is not always apparent, but because we trust in God we know that it is always available to us, even in times of trouble and grief. I find comfort in Psalm 30:5b, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”