Proverbs 17:22

“A merry heart does good, like medicine”

Joy is a theme that runs throughout the Bible.  The Bible stresses the importance of joy in what we do and what we go through.  In so many ways, joy is a gift and a blessing.  This is why the enemy, Satan, wants to steal our joy.  He will attack us so that life becomes one big drag, rendering us complacent, lethargic and indifferent.

Joy, as our text states, has healing properties.  It’s like medicine.  Joy will heal us physically, emotionally and spiritually.  This also suggests that perpetual sadness is the opposite of medicine and actually is harmful.  There are however, scriptures that speak of sadness, sorrow and mourning as good things.  This is true to a certain extent.  Jesus was a Man of sorrows yet the book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was anointed with gladness above His companions.  Jesus was a joyful Man, yet also sorrowed.

We can reconcile these two by understanding that joy and sorrow both have their place, but sorrow that comes from our flesh, or sin nature, is not Godly sorrow.  Godly sorrow is beneficial and actually contributes to joy.  Godly sorrow is the sadness we feel over our sin which leads to repentance and then joy.  Sorrow that leads to brokenness regarding ourselves or self-desires frees us to truly live in joy if we turn to God through them.  Sorrow over others eternity and hardness of heart to God will lead us to pray, evangelize and trust God.  This is how sorrow can be productive by leading us to Jesus, the source of joy and removing self-centered bondage and worldly attachments from our lives.

On the other hand, sadness that stems from the lack of faith, sin, selfishness, self focus, jealousy, envy, bitterness and/or unforgivenes is a sadness that is debilitating and destructive.  This type of sadness can lead to hurting oneself and possibly others.  Satan will use this emotion to control people and keep them in darkness.

There are cases of chemical imbalances and mental disease that are physical problems.  However, this is not the discussion here.  Let me add however, that self focus, worldly focus, resisting God’s will and forcing our own will, along with a sinful lifestyle, can and will cause chemical changes to the brain and the rest of the body.  So, in some cases it is a matter of the chicken and the egg.  As we see in the text, joy can heal many of these cases regardless of the cause.  With that said, we should make room for those who truly have need of medication but even then joy will help heal.

The question comes, how do I do it?  How do I have joy?  The answer is provided in the scripture.  The first step is to know where joy comes from.  Joy has one source, God.  There is no true joy outside of God.  Knowing this then, we have to know that His joy is given and experienced freely, simply by being in a right relationship with God.  Starting with turning from our sin to Jesus by faith in order to be forgiven and to have peace with God.  Before we do this, we are enemies of God which means we are against the only source of joy.  When we are “born again” by turning to God in faith, trusting in Jesus and His work in dying for our sins and raising again from the dead, we are forgiven.

Then the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us and when we surrender to the Holy Spirit we will be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is love.  God’s love, when experienced, gives joy that is unspeakable.  So ultimately joy simply comes from God to man through one’s faith and trusting in God allowing Him to have His way.  When we surrender to God we are surrendering to His love.

The lesson here is the importance of joy.  We are to inject joy into all we do.  The only way to do this is to do all we do for The Lord.  It’s not about what we are doing or what we are going through, it’s about faith, trusting that God has a plan and is working everything out for good.

Joy is beyond situational happiness and is found in surrender.  Whatever it is you are going through or whatever activity you are doing, invite God’s presence in.  No matter how big or how small the task, do it with joy knowing it is an opportunity to experience God and experience His joy.  Bathe all you do in joy and not only will you be healthy, you will help others be healthy.  Joy is the ultimate pleasure of knowing God.


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