The Joy of the Lord is a powerful phenomenon. It is spiritual dynamite! Our joy is one thing. The joy of the Lord is wholly other. It is supernatural.
Our joy brings momentary pleasure. Jesus’ joy brings long-lasting change and eternal fruit. Based on happy thoughts and things being in order in our lives, our joy is fickle. Jesus joy comes to us regardless of our being in the midst of pain or trial. It turns trial into gold.
Jesus’ joy comes when we are deeply in His presence. “In Your presence is fullness of joy”.
I have had several watershed experiences in my life with the joy of Jesus. The latest occurred at the end of a home group meeting when I was being prayed over by a brother in the Lord. The heavy, intoxicating presence of Jesus became too intense to stand up under, so I fell down. Laying on the carpet, I was very still and floating in the peace of God. I had no thoughts, my mind was at rest.
Suddenly out of nowhere, a chuckle rose up from deep in my belly. I wasn’t thinking of anything funny. I just started to chuckle. The chuckle moved to a deep laughter. Finally, Jesus’s joy became so powerful that I was howling in laughter, eyes watering with tears. It seemed that each wave of laughter brought an even deeper cleansing to my inner man. It was like going through a deliverance of sorts.
Without warning, as suddenly as it came on, the laughter ended. I lay still in a state of even deeper peace and well being than before.
I got up from the floor cleansed and happy. However, the fruit of that experience became manifest in the coming weeks. Of major benefit to me was a freedom from the fear of man that has kept me from writing and sharing what the Holy Spirit has given me. Because of this last encounter with the joy of the Lord, I have been enabled to much more effortlessly communicate. This website is actually a result of that encounter with the joy of the Lord Jesus.
So, joy is serious business. Paul stresses to his readers in Philippians 3:1 that joy is one of the safeguards of their spiritual lives. Joy helps to keep our relationship with Jesus tight despite the tribulations and temptations of everyday living. Joy is a firewall to the enemy’s darts of discouragement and doubt.
With what frequency should we participate in this joy? Paul answers that question as well in Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always” is our goal. Is this always attainable? No, sometimes it is very difficult. Life seems to more often engender tears of discouragement than expressions of joy. The key is not in trying to make ourselves joyful.
The solution lies in spending time in the manifest presence of the Lord. The first few minutes of time in His presence wash off the discouragement and doubt that cling to us. If we can persevere to remain in His tangible presence longer, the deep peace we sense may shift to an inner happiness which may in turn manifest into a deep-cleansing full expression of joy. Let the Spirit of Jesus perform this expression. Don’t work it up. Remember that it is the Lord’s joy given to us as a gift and not our own to manufacture. It is an “in the Lord” type of joy – a natural byproduct of being in His presence.
There is a very important concept of the “fullness of joy”. 1 John 1:4 references joy being “full”. Jesus speaks of joy being “full”in Jn 16:24. Psalm 16:11 mentions that “fullness of joy” is found in the presence of the Lord. There are levels to the joy of God. Sometimes a smile or a chuckle is all we need. When life’s dirt and boulders clog the artesian well of our spirit, we may need an encounter with a full, overwhelming dose of a literal baptism of joy that “roto-roots our entire spiritual plumbing! Ask Jesus for an encounter with this full level of His joy. You will find that when you least expect it, He will surprise you with it. To borrow from C S Lewis, you will be “surprised by joy”!
My wife Debbie was in the midst of deep worship. The worship leader called for a time of silence. While my eyes were closed, I heard a “thud”. That, I assumed, was the sound of Debbie falling to the carpet under the weight of the heavy presence of the Lord that had filled the sanctuary. Then, I heard a giggle. Following that my wife proceeded to progress to full-on laughter. All of this was occurring while we were all supposed to be silent. As Debbie laughed, the worship leader walked off the stage. The outcome of what could have been a very embarrassing situation for Debbie was that she got up off of the floor healed of several severe medical conditions and on the advice of her doctor, was able to go off of several medications as a result.
Joy is serious business!
This Jesus-joy is vitally important for a wide variety of reasons. Here are a few more “serious thoughts on joy” – the Joy of the Lord!
The joy of the Lord delivers one from many things, including the fear of man. While laughing in His presence, there is a total disregard for who is watching and who might care about what you are doing. In my case, this attitude changed my life with powerful lingering fruit.
The joy of the Lord strengthens our inner man and even our physical bodies.
The joy of the Lord manifests in various intensities from a quiet inner bliss all the way to gut-busting laughter.
The soul must have a reason to be joyful. The spirit need no reason – “Joy Happens”.
Jesus rejoiced GREATLY in spirit. This tells me several things. Jesus got a mega dose of joy upon this occasion. There is a joy of the soul and also a joy of the spirit. If Jesus could do it, then it’s OK.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” Neh 8:10 Anyone need to be stronger? I sure do!
Joy can be made to be an obligation when in Christian fellowship, masking true feelings underneath. It then becomes hypocritical, people-pleasing, and fake. Worse, the underlying issues don’t get addressed so true joy can manifest. This “legislated joy” is to be avoided and resisted. Holy Spirit joy is irresistible.
“In Your Presence is FULLNESS of joy”. Ps 16:11 That says it all!
“Joy comes in the morning”. Ps 30:5 Hang on joy is coming. In the bright sunrise of His healing and deliverance, joy will follow. Don’t fake it or manufacture it. Don’t let people force you into it prematurely. When it hits you, it will be God, it will be spontaneous, and it will be good.
“Restore to me the joy of my salvation” Ps 51:12 Sometimes the joy that is our inherent right as one who is saved needs to be restored. We have a God Who heals the inner pain…and restores joy!!!
“Therefore with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation” Is 12:3 Joy is one of those things that bubble up out of our belly. It springs up when the artesian well of the Holy Spirit in our deepest inner man is finally unclogged by the sovereign hand of God.
“The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord” Is 29:19 Just like we can go from glory to glory, we can go from Joy to Joy!! Lord, let our joy increase!
“Joy upon their heads” Is 35:10 Joy springs up from inside but is an atmosphere around and upon us as well.
“Oil of joy” Is 61:3 Joy is an oil. It gets on you.
“Joy is withered away” Joel 1:12 Life happens. Stuff happens. Garbage happens. All of this can wither our joy like a plant would wither. Joy is still alive, but barely. Thank God that He can water us, fertilize us, and enlighten us until the joy springs up green and beautiful again.
“There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents” Luke 15:10 Notice it doesn’t say “angels”. It says in their presence. By the process of elimination, that would be “God”. I wonder if when a sinner repents, the Father starts laughing in ecstatic joy?!
“Joy may be full” John 16:24 There is partial joy. There is full joy. I’ll take the full joy, thank you!
“Joy in the Holy Ghost” Rom 14:17 There are many kinds and origins of joy. The joy that hits you in the intense manifest presence of the Holy Spirit is the best!
“But are helpers of your joy” 2 Cor 1:24 We do get joy with “a little help from our friends”. My friend who prayed over me in the story above was a wonderful helper to my joy.
“The fruit of the Spirit is…joy” Gal 5:22 The Spirit loves to produce joy in us. He also loves to heal us and free us so that the joy can truly manifest.
“Joy unspeakable” I Peter 1:8 It gets that way sometimes. It’s so amazing that you can’t describe it.
What do you think about joy – supernatural Jesus joy? I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories of experiences with the supernatural joy of the Lord.
Dan Murrill March 31, 2015