Why We Need Joy
by Marcie Schultz
When is the last time that you took time to focus on joy? As Christians, joy resides in our hearts and minds but too often we lose sight of it in our very busy lives. Joy is part of the “abundant life” that Christ has promised us, and there is no better time to focus on joy than during our time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
If you have never experienced joy, remember that we have a good and gracious God who wants to bless us with every good gift, so all you have to do is ASK and you will RECEIVE joy.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11 NIV)
Also remember that “the joy of the Lord is your strength AND your stronghold” (Neh 8:10b AMP). This highlights two key points:
- Our strength can be measured in how much weight we can carry or in how much energy and focus we have to accomplish our tasks.
- Our stronghold is a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack.
So losing sight of joy not only costs us in terms of our strength and what we are able to accomplish, but it leaves us open to the potential of a spiritual attack.
Another important point is that losing sight of joy may rob us of one of the greatest gifts we can experience, as well as one of the greatest gifts we can share. Joy fills you up with so much thanksgiving that it overflows and covers up all negativity. Who’d want to give that up?
Joy is also a beacon of light, a siren to the lost. One of the things that led me to desire a deeper relationship with the Lord was the joy of those around me who were already ahead of me in this area. I wanted more of what God had to offer, especially the delight I saw in those who were busy serving the Lord with JOY. It drew me to those people who exhibited it, and it warmed me just to be around them. It will also draw those who are lost, lonely, dejected, depressed and needy to the King of Kings. Our job is to bring those people in to the Kingdom, to love them with all that we have, and to bless them with the vision of what they can have (joy) with the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
So don’t neglect your joy this season – bless everyone around you when it bubbles up inside and your smile can’t hide it! Your joy will enhance lives all around you.