A few years back the Lord had me on a journey to discover what love is. In this season He is leading me on a discovery about joy.
I always felt like I was a failure in this area because I’m not the type to walk around like a giddy schoolgirl laughing all of the time. Well-meaning people would always talk to me about joy in the
context of laughing, particularly laughing at the enemy, but that never resonated with me and felt painfully awkward when it was forced.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy laughing, but it has to be genuinely funny for me to laugh. And there are times that the enemy, in all of his greed & impatience, overplays his hand in things and I will laugh. But this isn’t the deep belly laugh that you have when something just absolutely touches your funny spot.
That’s where the error is; I was associating joy with something being funny, because that is when I laugh naturally. But the joy spoke about in the bible has nothing to do with laughing, it has nothing to do with something being funny.
Let’s look at just a couple of scriptures on the topic of joy.
Nehemiah 8:10 Do not be grieved, for the joy (chedvah: rejoice, comes from the root word chadah which means to be joined) of the Lord is your strength
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy (chara: calm delight- root to character, comes from root word chairo that refers to being calmly happy, to be well) when you fall into various trials
Looking at these two variations on joy, in the midst of something perceived as a negative, is referring to a character trait of having a calm assurance because of your remembering that you are joined to Him. And THAT should give you peace and make you smile.
This released me from the lie that I was failing in the area of joy. Because now I realize that joy has been my natural response when I remember who I am joined to. As I said before, this is just the beginning of my journey towards joy. I am confident that, as I dig deeper and gain more understanding, joy will be a marker in my life, just like love has been.