Man’s quest for permanent, total joy began immediately after the fall and continues on to this day. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to find true happiness in the things this world has to offer. Men have experienced all the world’s offerings, miserably failing to achieve their goal.
So what are we to do? Is there no one who can help us to understand true joy? Is there anyone on this earth that can point us to the path that leads to lasting contentment, peace and joy? Once again, this is where we begin to see the preciousness of the Word of God. Within its pages we find the secret of true joy and the way that leads to it.
(KJV) 9) And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
(ESV) 9) Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation.
(KJV) 10) … for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
(ESV) 10) …. for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
(KJV) 10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.
(ESV) 10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
(KJV) 11) And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
(ESV) 11) More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
(KJV) 19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
(ESV) 19) For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
When the Bible speaks of “joy” what is it talking about? The word joy is translated from several different words. The many words translated “joy” have associated with them four basic ideas:
- To be bright, cheerful, radient (the outward display of joy)
- Pleasure, satisfaction, fulfillment (inward contentment)
- To jump or spin, (excitement)
- To welcome, to bring to oneself (receipt of benefits)
In the above definitions, we can find a basic definition of “joy”. When the Bible speaks of “joy” it is describing a blessed man’s outward display of happiness coming from inward feelings of contentment and excitement.
As we begin our study in Psa 35:9, we immediately find the treasure for which we are searching, “joy”….
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD:
In our text, we find the source of true, lasting joy is the Lord Jehovah. He alone is the One from whom all blessings flow. As our verse continues, it explains how we can experience the joy that is found in Jehovah alone…
it shall rejoice in his salvation.
Joy can be experienced only through the salvation that He so graciously offers to us. Without coming to faith in Christ, any man’s pursuit of joy will be fruitless and void. As lost mankind we are born under the dominance of sin in our lives….
Joh 8:33-34 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? (34) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
But through the faith in Christ and His work on the cross, we can be delivered from the bondage of that sin…
Joh 8:35-36 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. (36) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Until we are removed from the enslavement of sin, and liberated through the work of Christ on the cross, we cannot experience a life of joy, freedom and peace (Rom 6:16-20).
Not only is salvation from sin’s bondage a basis of our joy, but two other aspects of salvation work on our behalf to cultivate joy in our hearts. We can see this in Isa 61:10…
10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.
In these verses, the receipt of salvation is pictured as being clothed in robes of righteousness. This righteousness has two results in the lives of Christians:
1. An intimate relationship with Christ is begun. This is pictured by the bridegroom/bride picture. Just as the putting on of the wedding garments is the beginning phase of intimacy between a married couple. In this same way, having robes of righteousness being put upon the believer brings about an intimate relation with Christ and the Father. (1 John 1:1-4)
2. An heirship is formed. When we receive robes of righteousness and intimacy with Christ and the Father we are adopted into His family. Based upon this adoption we become heirs of God, guaranteeing us the receipt of many future blessings. (Roms 8:13-18)
Knowing that we have been made free from sin’s bonds, experiencing a close walk with our Lord, and looking forward to the receipt of many blessings of heirship in the family of God are the three main pillars upon which joy is experienced in the believer’s life.
The blessings related to joy are not limited to experiencing joy in our lives, but also includes the receiving of spiritual strength. This is shown to us in Nehemiah 8:10….
… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Here, we can see that a joy that is based upon the Lord is the source of our strength as we live our lives on a day to day basis. Why is a daily source of strength an absolute necessity for us to lead a joyous life on earth? The fallen world in which we live is filled with discouragements and troubles (Job 14:1-2). Without an ever present source of strength, life becomes a daily struggle to survive for any one of us.
The daily strengthening joy that we receive from the Lord is based upon a BACKWARD look at the cross of Christ and a FORWARD look at His second coming.
The BACKWARD look at the death of Christ is spoken of in Romans 5:11….
And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Our joy is renewed on a daily basis as we look at the work of our Savior on the cross. One of the greatest accomplishments of the cross is securing the atonement of God’s people. The idea of atonement teaches us that it was through the work of Christ that we, who are sinful beings, are brought into fellowship with God. When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He took upon Himself the punishment that was meant for us. In doing so, He took away the enmity that stood between us and God. He brought us into peace with God (Rom 4:24-5:1).
The FORWARD look at His second coming is spoken of in 1 Thess 2:19…
19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Keep in mind, our future “homecoming” with Christ is a source of great joy for the Christian. Just knowing that we will be delivered to a sinless life of peace and joy with Him brings us great joy. However, also this verse brings out the idea of a reunion with those we love and hold dear to us. If those who have passed on before us are saved, we can expectantly wait to rejoin them at the final resurrection. What a day that will be! What a source of joy those thoughts bring to us even now.
True joy can only be found in God the Father through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through His work on the cross that we can receive “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. This joy enters our life as we walk with Him enjoying communion and spiritual strength. By acknowledging both His past, present, and future blessings, we can experience joy as a part of our daily walk with Him.
All of this, can only come to us through His precious Word that clears reveals the way of salvation and the blessings that proceed from our gracious Lord.
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at email@example.com. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx
Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org