Joyous Heart :: By John Lysaught

There is no doubt we live in dire times in this world. There is seemingly no end to the demise that we face each day and the marginalization we, as Christians, face. We are pushed down, shoved aside, and otherwise, to put it lightly, disliked by the world at large. In the face of this constant bombardment of negativity, we can be affected by such and can begin to have a sense of pessimism on our part as well or a sense of despair. And yet, this does not need to be so. Although we live in a fallen world, we are not bound to live this way. There is so much to be joyous about in our faith and in our Lord and Savior Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

In Isaiah 26:3 (KJV), we are told, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Doesn’t this verse just make your heart smile a little bit? When our minds are focused on God, there is not just peace, but perfect peace in our hearts. No matter what we are facing in our lives or how bad things have the potential to get, we can have perfect peace, and with peace comes joy. No one can take this from us. No one can rip it out of our hearts either. The joy and peace of God is ours to hold tightly and dearly.

When we have a joyous heart, we can’t but help to praise and rejoice in God. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Even in this horrid and fallen world, we can still rejoice and praise God. Salvation through the sacrifice of Christ is our greatest rejoice. Christ died for us. He died for our sins. Salvation through belief in Christ’s death and resurrection is momentous and should give us joy. When things are not going well, remember this: our future is not here in this fallen world. We are partakers of something greater and eternal as adopted sons and daughters of the Lord Most High.

In Philippians 4:13, we are told, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Regardless of the ills we face, there is hope, and hope only in Christ. He is our strength, not man. Man is doomed to fail us, and any hope we have in man is fleeting and misguided. Man cannot give us salvation. Man cannot grant us a ticket to heaven. Man can only provide temporary happiness, but Christ offers unlimited joy and eternal hope. Man cannot strengthen us the way Christ can. Man may motivate us but cannot give us the power and strength only found in Jesus. Jesus is our foundation. He is the eternal love we so earnestly seek but cannot find in man alone.

Romans 15:13 says, ‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

When we believe, we are filled with joy and peace. Believing and having hope are not attached to grief or unsettled hearts. It is quite the contrary. Peace brings joy and visa-versa. And how are we reassured of our joy? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the reminder in our hearts of the promises of eternal life with Christ. The Holy Spirit, He is what motivates us to keep moving forward and maintaining our relationship with Christ. Nothing in the world compares to the power of the Holy Spirit. He cannot be substituted or replaced by anything the fallen world has to offer. The Holy Spirit is the only means to reassurance us of Christ’s sacrifice, grace, and eternity with our Father.

According to Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Holy Spirit “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

When the Holy Spirit resides in us, all these things are at our disposal. We really should not be stressed out about the things going wrong in our lives or the temptations or trials we face, or what is going on in these end-times. We need to remind ourselves of this verse because it encompasses every aspect of our emotions and disposition that will lead us to having joy in our hearts for Christ, regardless.

When the Holy Spirit is deeply embedded in us, these attributes will reveal themselves in our lives and interactions with people. People will want what we possess and will seek us out because they don’t know, but want to know, how we can have such calmness and joy even when faced with dire situations that would knock the non-believer down.

Even in trying times we can have joy. James tells us in James 1:2-3, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

When we face temptations, it is hard. The power of our resolve in Christ is tested by temptations. There will be many kinds of temptations to face each day, but they are not uncommon to man; for Christ faced the same core temptations that we face, and He overcame. We can have resolve, hope, and joy knowing this fact. Resolve because, if Christ could do it, so can we. Hope, in that we will overcome. Joy, in that when we do overcome, our sense of strength and closeness to Christ grows, and this will give us more strength and power to face any temptations that come our way.

I could go on and on about this. Joy is given to us freely through our faith and hope; we just have to recognize it is there for us to partake in each and every day. Joy in our hearts is at our disposal through hope in Christ and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We will face adversity by Satan and the world to curb our joy and hope. Satan will use temptations, trials, and tribulations in an attempt to cut off the joy we have in and thru Christ. Will Satan win sometimes? Don’t fool yourselves, because he will. But this should not stop us in growing in faith and hope to affect the level of joy we have in our faith. Regardless of the negativity around us, regardless of the woes of the world, neither can nor should negate the joy we have in Christ.

Christ is love; and through His love we have joy.