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  • Writer's picturekimstanfield

JOY is the serious business of Heaven

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,


Down in my heart!


Down in my heart!

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,

Down in my heart to stay

The above was a song we say at Sunday school when I was a child and it continued on with subsequent verses like…

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart!

I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer, right down in the depths of my heart!

For us kids, back in the day, it was a real kick to sing this song slow at first and then get faster and faster, like singing a tongue twister of sorts and then we would sing boys against the girls and the whole thing would get really raucous!  But soooooo much fun!

I was listening to a devotion online the other morning over my breakfast and was taken with the scripture shared from Hebrews…

[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [a]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work] – Hebrews 12:2 AMP

Wow, that Jesus Christ experienced JOY when confronted with going to the cross!  I had to go find out more on this scripture so went looking …

Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.—The literal meaning is very forcible, endured a cross, despising shame; the shame of such a death being set over against the joy that lay before Him. Here again we have the thought of Hebrews 2:9 (Philippians 2:9-10); the joy of His accomplished purpose (Isaiah 53:11Matthew 25:21Luke 10:21-22) and the glory with which He was crowned (John 17:11Peter 1:11) being the reward for His “obedience even unto death.” The whole form of the expression (comp. especially Hebrews 6:18, “the hope set before us”) shows that Jesus is presented to us as an example not of endurance only, but also of faith (Hebrews 2:12). On the last words of the verse see Hebrews 1:3Hebrews 1:13Hebrews 8:1Hebrews 10:12-13; there is here a slight change in the Greek, which requires the rendering, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Joy of purpose being reward for obedience

This is joy … but, in fact, that's still not what we are talking about. We are talking about unspeakable joy. Unspeakable means, exceeding the power of speech; unutterable; inexpressible; indescribable. On the spectrum of emotion, joy is at the intense end.

2 Joy unspeakable is at the intense end of emotion

Joy is not happiness and happiness is not joy. Happiness is circumstantial. Here one moment and gone the next.

Joy on the other hand is a heart posture In the Greek bible the word joy is Chara. Joy is a gift of God, it comes when we are aware of the grace and favor of God.

In Jam. 1:2-3 it’s called pure joy because when we face trial it’s the testing of our faith in that trial that produces perseverance.

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

we are also told in Neh. 8:10 that the joy of the Lord is our strength ;Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness according to the dictionary definition, but the joy that I’m speaking about comes from the presence of God in Psa. 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;    you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Joy is one of the characteristics of God’s love from the Holy Spirit as spoken about in Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

So, is joy as all the other characteristics something that fills us because of God? Rom. 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, and one way to experience that joy is to stay focused on Him rather than on your problems, difficulties and other things that are robbers of your contentment. I’m not saying to ignore those situations and circumstances, I’m just saying to shift that focus back on God so your joy can be restored.

3 Joy comes from the presence of God

…Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is…

…Lewis’ definition of joy is radically different from the one commonly used in modern conversation. We tend to imagine happiness and joy as synonyms, but according to Lewis, they could also be antonyms…

…For joy is a gift graciously bestowed on us by God himself…

…“I had hoped that the heart of reality might be of such a kind that we can best symbolize it as a place,” Lewis writes. “Instead, I found it to be a Person.” (p. 282 in ‘Surprised by Joy’). In surrendering to God, Lewis’ gaze was no longer turned inward, but outward…

…Joy was not a deception,” Lewis assures his readers…

4 Joy is bestowed on us by God himself

So, from the above four points mentioned, I am coming to understand that doing our journey in Joy is more about follow though for God our Father, knowing the end in store for us, spending quality time with him in the meantime and knowing He has our back for the long haul.

The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will rejoice over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. – Zephaniah 3:17 NASB

You love him even though you have never seen him; though not seeing him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself. – 1 Peter 1:8 TLB

I am for ever grateful that He knows me so very well.  That I am precious in His sight and that the hairs of my head are numbered.

139 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head. This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! – Psalms 139:1-6 TLB

And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. – Matthew 10:30 TLB

Looking forward to rejoicing in worship more, being grateful for the journey and being intentional about keeping my focus on Jesus first…


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