Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Think about it! God rejoices over us with joy. God sings with joy over us. Our joy in the Holy Spirit is simply a reflection of God’s divine joy.
Now how can we know this joy? The Holy Spirit ministers in us to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.
We share in Jesus’ love, His compassion, His redemption, and especially in His joy. There might be times of happiness without Jesus. But we can never have true joy without Him.
The gospel was announced by the angel to the shepherds as “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people“(Lk2:9).
Through the gospel, we know of God’s provision for our salvation. We trust Jesus to save us. We are cleansed from our sins. And we become the children of God.
The Holy Spirit then takes up permanent residence in us as a new believer to reveal Jesus to us and to conform us to the image of God’s Son. As we yield to His ministry, we know more and more the joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Christians are commanded to be filled with joy – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice”(Ph4:4).
It seems strange, actually it is really amazing! that a man in prison would be telling a church to be joyful. But Paul’s attitude serves to teach us an important lesson.
Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Even in prison, Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus was with him.
As believers, our real joy is found in our unchanging, everlasting relationship with God that is ours through personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ. And when we know Jesus we can “Rejoice evermore”(1Th5:16).
Our joy does not fluctuate with our circumstances or with our feelings. Obeying God enables us to see people, problems, and everything else in our lives in a new perspective. When we do God’s will, we will be joyful.
God intended for our worship to be joyful. The Psalmist said: “I will offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord“(Ps27:6).
We are called to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing…Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name”(Ps100:1-2,4).
Remember God’s goodness. And His faithfulness. And then worship Him with thanksgiving and joy!!