“Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness.”
Isaiah 35:10, NLT
Part of our personalized history includes an opportunity to have a rich contact with ‘joy’. Joy really has its introduction with our redemption. When grace latches on to us we find ourselves soaked with gladness and real joy. It is as if we stepped into a waterfall of mercy. It has divine origins.
Isaiah speaks of joy as a crown. To have a crown is a great thing. When we discover our new headgear is a crown, we can find joy. People who are troubled and distracted about their salvation are rarely joyful. Without the confidence of the Holy Spirit, joy cannot find a place to settle, so it moves on.
Let’s be very clear– joy is not happiness, or cheerfulness. It is not found in great worship, or a rousing time of singing. Joy is actually strength in God and it is the primary way of defeating the enemy. It will drive Satan and the demons back into the darkness. When we are cloaked in joy we will push through a great number of obstacles and leap over fortress walls.
Joy is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. This means a lot of things, but it definitely means that we cannot fabricate it or develop it in our lives. Joy is one of those proximity indicators. When we more closely approach the Lord we find ourselves percolating with a deep sense of joy. We are where we belong. And our soul knows it.
“I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.”
Psalm 132:16, KJV
A good analogy for me is this. Joy is the box we get to open to get to the salvation that’s waiting inside. When we look at the subject of the believer’s joy we discover that it is a quality and a fruit of our relationship with God. We can’t ‘develop’ it, or make it happen.
No one is ever commanded to produce joy on demand. It will come when by faith you step up to fully receive your salvation. Joy is not an option that only a few people get.
“Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water
from the wells of salvation.
And as you do it, you’ll say,
“Give thanks to God.”
Isaiah 12:3, MSG
The joy is waiting for you, and when you have it, you will wonder how in the world you ever lived without it. Believers will find that joy will be the freshness to follow Jesus in a very beautiful and delightful way. And those who have a disability or a ‘mental illness’ will find joy to be God’s way of boosting us through hard times. And this will be the very thing we’ve been waiting for.