Where do we get joy? The words of a song taught to children in Bible School has the answer: “I’ve got the joy, joy, JOY, down in my heart!” So, do we each come with a built in supply of joy or do we have to go somewhere to pump it in?
I believe we do have a great supply of joy at birth. Unfortunately, as we learn to look at reflections of earth instead of remembering reflections of heaven, we tend to lose joy. Why is that?
For a clue, let’s go back to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were told to stay away from only one tree … the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Prior to taking the bite of the fruit of that tree, they had only knowledge of good. After the first bite, they began to have the knowledge of evil. This had a very significant effect on their ability to experience joy.
Think of the things you fear or worry about. All of them have something to do with what you know that is less than good. If you didn’t know about wars, economic depression, various illnesses, etc., would you worry about them? Probably not.
Jesus told us that unless we become as little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Some of the qualities of children are their innocence, trust and lack of knowledge of evil. In fact, without adults interjecting fear into their lives, children would likely just happily play and enjoy life.
As we become older, we not only learn more and more about evil in the world, but we also have a sense of how a mature, responsible adult should look. Instead of learning from children, we insist they learn from us!
When is the last time you ran around your house just for the fun of it … jumped on a bed … went on a merry go round (hint … hint … nudge …nudge … there’s that word “merry” again) or did any of the many things children do? If you want to reconnect with the joy you had from the beginning, make a list of all the things you can remember from childhood that you loved to do. See yourself back there again in that time and thoroughly enjoy the memory. Then see how many of those things you can do now … and do them! (Please don’t fall off the bed … I cannot assume responsibility!)
Where do we get the joy? David the Psalmist knew! Speaking to God, he said,
You have made known to me the paths of Life;
You will fill me with Joy in Your Presence!
How do we keep the joy? Jesus told us plainly.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in My Love.
If you obey My Commands, you will remain in My Love,
just as I have obeyed My Father’s Commands and remain in His Love.
Jesus wanted to be sure we did not miss the significance of what He was saying, so He went on to tell us specifically why He told us about remaining in His Love …
I have told you this so that My Joy may be in you
and that your Joy may be complete!