Do you have joy in your life?  Joy is a feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.  To rejoice is to be very happy, to be delighted, to feel joy.  What gives you joy?  Perhaps you have joy when you have accomplished a special goal or when a child is born or when you hear very good news.  But the joy over these things is often short lived and your joy fades.  Many times, life gets “heavy”.  You may get weighed down with health issues, with money problems, with conflicts with others, with loss of loved ones, with the consequences of sin and with other things that “steal” your joy. 

As a true Christian, you have cause to rejoice.  When Jesus gave power to seventy of his disciples and sent them to the various cities and villages, they returned with joy because of the things they had accomplished.  Jesus told them, in Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”  Today, your joy should also be in the fact that your name is written in heaven.  No trial, loss or hardship can take that away from you.  The apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 12:12a “Rejoicing in hope.”  Consider what the apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:3-9 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.”  This salvation and inheritance that you have coming to you is reason enough for you to be joyful in your life.

You should also rejoice in the Lord.  Philippians 3:1a “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.”  Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!”  What a wonderful God we serve!  What a wonderful savior in Jesus Christ!

Are you persecuted or do you experience trials because of your faith in Jesus?  Then you have special reason to be joyful.  Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  1 Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

If you have no joy, then perhaps something is wrong.  Joy should be part of your life.  Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”  Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit.  In your life you may have trials, loss and hardships.  But there should also be joy.  The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 6:10a “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”

My encouragement to you is expressed in Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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