When we consider these words of our Lord to us, we see He used the word joy, in two contexts, His joy and our joy. His wish was that His joy would always be with us, and our joy would not be half, but at all times in a full measure. We therefore examine this word joy and find it has 3 distinct different meanings in the bible. 1. Natural Joy 2. Moral Joy 3. Spiritual Joy.
Natural Joy according to the dictionary means: “Joy is a delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present or assured possession of a future good”. These natural joys are usually associated with a natural possession and build up in various degrees, and we openly display them in our lives in the show of gladness, exultation, contentment, satisfaction, triumph and cheerfulness.
Moral Joy. This is the joy which arises from the performance of any good actions. It shows itself within us, and sometimes spills openly in the form of peace, serenity of conscience or when it reaches its peak, if honorable, it is called glory.
Both of these joys are those which our Lord referred to as “your joy”. These joys can be good or bad depending on the circumstances. To keep this joy good, we must have within us Christ’s joy or the Spiritual Joy.
Spiritual Joy. As its name implies is a gift of the Holy Spirit or one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Gal. 5.22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace etc. It has its place within our hearts and shows itself outward by our actions, according to the Bible in the following ways.
A) As a joy of faith Phil 1:25 “I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and JOY of faith.”
B) As a rejoicing of hope Heb. 3:6 “But Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
C) Our Joy is God Himself. Psa. 43:4 “Then will I go unto the Altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”
D) In His promises. 1 Peter 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love, in whom, though now ye see him not yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable”.
E) Joy in the Gospel Psalm 89:15 “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound they shall walk 0 Lord in the light of thy countenance.”
F) The joy that Christ will one day receive the Glory He is due Rev 11:15 “The kingdom of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
G) Joy of our future Rom. 15.13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost”.
H) And the most important aspect, and that is, spiritual joy is permanent. John 16:22 “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
For this measure we see that the gift of joy is freely available to all, and as we go through life, we should easily be able to see those that have achieved and retained this joy of the Lord, by the open display of their own joys. A person who is not content in their faith, not content with hope, not content with God in His promises in the Bible, self-centered as to a reward, is not ready to receive the joy, and will show by their lives, the lack of joy in their life.