Most of us are searching for more joy in our lives. With the everyday stress and sadness in this world, finding joy can seem almost impossible. The good news is that there’s a way to have lasting joy, no matter what we face in life. In the Bible, it says we can find true, overflowing joy by finding joy in the Lord.
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What Does it Mean to Find Joy in the Lord?
Human beings are constantly on the search for joy and happiness. We were hard-wired this way.
As humans, we often try to make our own joy. We look to people, status, and possessions to bring joy to our lives. These things aren’t bad and can help us bring temporary joy into our lives. But these little things won’t make our joy last. To do this, we have to find joy in the Lord.
So What Exactly does Joy in the Lord Mean?
Joy in the Lord is a type of joy that lasts, no matter what life throws at you. Jesus had this type of joy when He gave His life for us on the cross. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that, “…Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV) Jesus knew what He had to do. He even asked God to take this burden (dying on the cross) from Him.
But when it came down to it, Jesus went to the cross for us. It was the “joy set before him” that helped Him endure the cross. He knew what was coming after giving His life. So He made the choice to do the right thing for us. This is a perfect definition of joy in the Lord.
Joy is a Gift from God
Joy in the Lord is a gift from God. After sin came, God knew we’d have all sorts of trouble to deal with in life. Because of this trouble, He knew our life would be hard. This is why He gave us joy as a gift. He knew we would need it!
Even though joy is a free gift, we have to be willing to accept it. And the way we accept it is through trust.
We have to be willing to trust God. Even when our circumstances are horrible. Even when it seems crazy. We have to trust Him. When we trust Him, no matter what, we will find the gift of joy.
6 Tips for Finding Joy in the Lord
No matter what’s going on in our lives we can still find joy. God is willingly offering His joy for us to have all the time. At any time. Here are 6 tips I’ve used in my life for finding joy in the Lord.
Find Joy in the Lord by Reading the Bible
Finding true joy doesn’t happen automatically when you become a Christian. Joy in the Lord comes from growing your relationship with Jesus. One of the best ways to become closer to Him is through a consistent Bible reading habit.
The Apostles and early Christians were able to have an in-person relationship with Jesus. They saw Him, spent time with Him, and learned directly from His words.
We don’t have that same opportunity physically. But we do have the Bible. It contains the words of Jesus himself!
“We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share in our joy,” 1 John 1:3-4 (NLT). These verses let us know why the Bible is so important for us today. We weren’t able to be there when Jesus formed the church. But we can read His words in the Bible as often as we like. And we can share in the joy of the Christians through reading it.
I’ve written several posts about incorporating a daily Bible reading habit into my morning ritual. After pouring a warm cup of coffee, I curl up under a cozy blanket and dive into the Bible. Starting my day in God’s word has been extremely beneficial in filling my life with His joy!
Find Joy in the Lord Through Prayer
If Bible reading allows us to share in the joy of the disciples that came before us. But, if you want to draw even closer to God, prayer is vital.
In John 16:24, Jesus says, “You haven’t done this before. Ask using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (NLT) In this passage, He’s telling us that prayer will give us a direct line to God. And that by using the name of Jesus, we will “receive and have abundant joy.” Spending time in prayer is the next step to building a relationship with Jesus.
Prayer is a vital part of my morning devotions. I like to follow my Bible reading with a few minutes of prayer. During this time, I pour out all of my hopes, anxieties, and fears to Him.
You’ll find that your days are filled with much more joy when you add prayer time to your morning routine.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how or what to pray about. It doesn’t take much to get started. You can use the model of the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 of the New Testament. There are also devotionals and prayer journals to get you started. And if all else fails, just speak from your heart. God just wants to hear from you!
Find Joy in the Lord With a Church Family
People were created for relationships. Not only with God, but with other believers too! Proverbs 18:1 reminds us that, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” It’s almost impossible to grow your faith without the relationships you get plugging into a church family!
I know that finding a church family isn’t easy. You want to find a group with similar beliefs to your own. It’s also nice to find a church that offers programs and ministry opportunities that fit your family’s needs.
My family went on this journey a few years ago. Our kids were young, and we wanted to find a church that would assist our children in choosing Jesus as their savior. We also wanted a church with opportunities for all of us to minister and give back to the community.
After a few months of searching, we found a church that was the perfect fit for us. Through the relationships we have made there, we’ve been able to see each of our kids, and a son in law, baptized into the faith. We’ve also had several ministry opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to us anywhere else. And finding a church close to our home didn’t hurt either.
Find Joy in the Lord Through Worship
Worship is another powerful act that fills us with joy in the Lord! All of creation has been programmed to worship its maker. Inside every human is a desire, a pull, to worship God. Our joy can’t be truly found without it.
Most people think about worship as the prayer and music during a church service. I have to agree, noot too many things can help me find joy like getting my praise on! I absolutely love praise and worship music. Whether it’s jamming in my car or lifting up God’s name in church, it fills me with so much joy.
But worship isn’t just about a jammin praise band (although that’s not a bad thing). Worship is all about giving our love, adoration, and praise to the One who has given us everything, even salvation. We can show worship to God in many different ways.
Colossians 3:23 says we are to, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (NLT) So whatever we do, if we give it to God, can be a form of worship. Since almost anything can be worship, then almost anything we do for Christ can help us in finding joy in the Lord!
Find Joy in the Lord Through the Little Things
Something I’ve learned to be true over the years is that it’s the little things in life that matter. The little things in life often bring us joy and contentment. Sprinkled throughout our days, the little things can help us find joy in the Lord too!
The beauty of finding joy in simple pleasures is that they will be slightly different for everyone. Some of my favorite little things are puppy cuddles, hugs from a sweet child, a warm cup of coffee, and a beautiful summer morning on my back porch. Your simple things are probably going to be a little different than mine. But that’s the beauty of them! God has given us so many simple pleasures to bring joy in the Lord to our hearts.
So feel free to embrace the little things in life with joy. And don’t forget to thank the one who made all of them possible!
Find Joy in the Lord by Serving Others
Our final tip for finding joy in the Lord is a guaranteed winner! The absolute best way I can think of for finding joy is by serving others for Christ.
Serving others is something God has called Christians to do. It was the cornerstone of Jesus’ ministry. He came, “…not to be served but to serve others…” (Matthew 20:28 NLT) Giving your time, money, or friendship not only benefits those you’re serving. It also brings you so much joy in the Lord. Try it and see!
How can you find joy in the Lord today?