Where Joy Comes From
“Light is sown for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].” Psalm 97:11 Amplified Bible
Most of us struggle with experiencing joy in our daily run through life. The stresses and trials of life seem to drain all the joy from us, but is that the way that it is meant to be? Is that what I should continue to expect? The reality is that the joy of the Lord is always present within us because the Holy Spirit is within us. Now, you may say, “But I do not feel the joy, so I do not really have it”, but that is not accurate. The joy is in you and a part of you whether you “feel” it or not. Even when you feel no joy it is there and you can experience it. There are three parts to who you are; spirit, soul, and body. The joy of the Lord is always present in your spirit. You don’t feel it because feeling is a part of the emotions or the soul realm of who you are. Feelings are of the natural and they will never give you insight into the spiritual realm of your existence. You have to know that the joy of the Lord is in you and if you know that and believe that, then the process of experiencing it has begun.
The verse above clearly indicates that inside you is the irrepressible joy of the Lord. That is a really strong promise of a truly powerful joy. But the verse goes on to say that this joy comes from the consciousness of His favor. Where does the joy come from? It begins with you being aware that the joy is already in you regardless of how you may feel. It starts when you consciously acknowledge it is within you because of His love and favor is upon you.
Once you recognize that the joy is already in you and you already possess it then you can bring it from your spirit realm to your soul realm. The soul acts as a door in the process. The spirit of God has poured His joy into you and it is in your spirit. Then your soul or that part of you that is the personality, the intellect, the emotions and the will determines what happens to the joy. If you go by your emotions only, the soul acts as a closed door and the joy stays in your spirit and you cannot feel it or experience it. However, if instead, you say to yourself, “I may not feel joy but I know that is in me because of His favor and the Spirit residing within me, so I am going to choose joy. I am going to begin just praising Him and expressing the joy that I know to be present within me!” When you make that decision, then your soul has acted as an open door and the joy in your spirit man will pour out into and through your soul. Once your soul has acted like this doorway the reality of that joy will then become a reality in your body physically.
The joy is in you already. Become aware of that, acknowledge it and choose in your soul (personality, intellect, emotions, and will) to act upon the presence of joy even before you feel it, and then watch the joy become a reality in your life and your responses. This is His joy and not just for joy’s sake. When you operate in that overwhelming and “irrepressible” joy, you just can’t feel sad or fearful or worried about the things of life. You simply operate in joy and God will move through that to resolve and deliver you from the problems that had presently been robbing you of joy.
J Todd Hostetler