“Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” is a song of the Christmas Season that most all of us are familiar with. Joy is a powerful asset to have in our lives as there are many benefits to having a joyful heart.
One of the key characteristics of the Kingdom of God is JOY. The reason being is because joy helps establish His Kingdom in our lives and spread the love of God through us.
Have you ever had a natural inclination to be around sadness. I would venture to say NO. We like to be around people who have legitimate joy in their lives. I’m not talking about someone who finds their contentment in being materialistic, being happy about their stuff, but rather finds their life in the Presence of God overflowing with God’s peace and joy no matter what.
There are tremendous benefits to having God’s joy in our lives. Here are a few of those benefits.
I. Healing Spirit, Soul & Body
A merry heart does good, like medicine,Proverbs 17:22
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
The joy of the Holy Spirit has healing power. As we choose to rejoice in God it can actually have a powerful effect on our heart and our physical health. Research has actually shown this to be true so HOW MUCH MORE if God says so!
Physical Benefits of Experiencing Joy:
- promotes a healthier lifestyle
- boosts immune system
- fights stress and pain
- supports longevity
II. Increased Desire to Pray & Seek the Lord
He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,Job 33:26
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
When we seek the Lord, God promises to fill us with His joy as well. As we look at prayer from a cyclical context we understand that we will be returning for more as we are continually tasting of God’s goodness. In other words we are creating a cycle of Holy Spirit addiction that causes an ecstatic joy in our lives. Devoting ourselves to prayer we experience breakthrough in our spirit, even heaven on earth within ourselves, which causes us to desire Him more and more.
III. Atmospheres Change
And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.1 Kings 1:40
This is a powerful passage of scripture that reveals that power joy has to affect atmospheres. As they “rejoiced with great joy” the earth seemed to SPLIT – now that is GREAT JOY!
Think about the highest peak of joy you have experienced in the Lord. Most likely it cannot come too close to comparing with what you just read in this passage. This is unbridled JOY that rips through, breaks through from the spirit realm into the natural realm. God’s joy is that powerful. It can take you into another place that totally transforms that natural world around you. Heaven on earth is what we are talking about here.
IV. Freedom from Religiosity
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:Ezra 3:11
“He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.”
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.
No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
For those who treasure and worship at the altar of “what was” that is a dead place. Joy comes in the the new thing that God is doing. If you treasure that past so much that you cannot rejoice in the new thing God is doing then you are stuck in a religious rut.
It is always good to honor that which God did in the past but we worship God not past experiences. He rarely does anything the same way twice. The religious leaders in Jesus day did not recognize Him because they were worshiping that past thing that God did, not God. In 2020 get ready for the new thing that will spring forth. Break out of the old wineskin and receive the new that is filled with the new wine of His joy! His joy is a distinguishing mark of those who living after the Spirit and those who are living by the strong arms of the flesh.
V. Spiritual Strength
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”Nehemiah 8:10
Eat the fat! Drink the sweet! Be a blessing to others. Be generous. Every day God has made is holy and to be rejoiced in. As we take joy in the Lord He fills us with fresh strength daily! This is a key to your spiritual strength. If you allow the devil to take your joy you are already defeated.
Jesus came to give us joy that no one can take away. So if it is lost it is because we allowed it to be taken away. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Rejoice and be strong!
VI. Exaltation in the High Places
Though the fig tree may not blossom,Habakkuk 3:17-19
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.
Here is a beautiful picture of worshiping and rejoicing in God at all times married with the promise that He WILL make you amazing by His Spirit, even lifting you up to high places like you have never known before. Exaltation, promotion in His high places is a promise to all those who choose to rejoice in Him at all times.
VII. The Lord Gives You Victory
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:2 Chronicles 20:21
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
Need victory in your life? Here is a key passage that reveals to power of praise and how God responds to your praise. God will ambush the enemy, taking him down at ever turn as you set your heart to praise and rejoice in Him. It is one of the truest expressions of our faith as we are living out our “walking by faith and not by sight”.
Allow these benefits of joy to permeate your life today as you love the Lord with your whole heart, mind and strength!