“. . . The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Our God is a joyful God, and it is with His joy that we become stronger, more powerful Christians. What is joy? One of the Hebrew words for joy is chedvah, which means “rejoicing, gladness.” In Galatians 5:22, joy is the Greek word chara, which means “cheerfulness, delight.” So, joy helps you worship God, and it makes you glad, cheerful, and a delight to be around. You will even start to like yourself better when you receive God’s joy.

Receive God’s Joy!

You receive the joy of the Lord when you are anointed with the Holy Spirit. This anointing starts at the top of your head and goes all the way to your feet: God begins with your head because your thought life gives you direction—it either gets you in trouble or sets you on the right path.

If you think being righteous means being as sober as a judge, then you haven’t read Acts 2. On the day of Pentecost, the people didn’t appear sober when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit—they acted like they were drunk! People who saw them said, “They are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13). When you are baptized in the Spirit and receive the anointing, you too will act joyful.

Some get nervous when they see other people respond in joy. They don’t think it’s scriptural, but being jubilant is very scriptural. Psalms 66:1 says, “Make a joyful shout to God.” In fact, there are seven references in the Psalms about making a “joyful noise” to the Lord.

Make a Joyful Noise!

The Hebrew word for joyful in Psalms 66:1 is renanah, which means “shout for joy, singing, triumphing.” Joyful expressions are loud and noisy. Have you ever tried to laugh and keep it all inside? It’s nearly impossible. It’s the same way with the joy that the Holy Spirit places inside you; it has to come bubbling out. Romans 14:17 says, “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” If you are moving in the Holy Spirit, you will have the joy that comes with Him.

As a Christian, God calls you to be joyful, Isaiah 51:11 says, “So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” The redeemed are supposed to have so much joy it comes out of their mouths. It is necessary for Christians to be joyful in order to give glory to God and to witness to the lost.

Your Daily Joy

Like your zeal for the Lord and your dedication to keep His commandments, you must commit to daily maintenance of joy. Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” When Jesus lives in your heart, then you already have joy inside. All you have to do is pull some out every day.

Fullness of joy is found in God’s presence, so start your day by entering into His presence with joy and praise. When you get up in the morning, say, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24).

It is also important to watch what you think, say, and do. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth…”. Watch what you are saying. You can say words that will bring depression into your heart. If you’re not diligent, you can lose your joy! In Psalms 51:12, David said, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation . . .”. He wrote this after he had an affair with Bath-Sheba and had Uriah killed. He lost his joy because of sin; and the same thing can happen to us.

Sometimes it isn’t a major crisis that steals your joy—you lost it because of your own indifference to God. If you don’t read your Bible, don’t pray, don’t set your priorities according to God’s will, or get into sin, then you will not feel the joy of the Lord because you are not dwelling in His presence.

With repentance, God’s joy returns. David knew that his salvation would restore his joy. There is no question that David’s joy returned—he remained a man after God’s own heart and God sent the Messiah through him. Proverbs 15:13 tells us that “by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

When you focus on heartbreak, you lose your joy. Don’t let problems overcome you; instead let promises take over problems. God wants you to be joyful in times of trouble because the strength found in joy will bring you through your problems. If depression has killed your joy, ask the Holy Spirit to anoint you again. He will resurrect your joyful heart.

The anointing destroys the yoke. If you are depressed, sad, or living under a burden of oppression or circumstances, ask the Holy Spirit to anoint you with joy. God will break those bondages and set you free. According to John 10:10 in the Amplified Bible, Jesus “came that [we] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” This is the level of blessing that God wants for each of use. When we decide to be led by a joyful heart, strive to joyfully express our love for God, and commit to maintain our joy by seeking God daily, God’s true power can be released—and we can have the overflowing abundance of joy the Word promises.