There is no virtue in the Christian life which is not made radiant with joy; there is no circumstance and no occasion which is not illuminated with joy. A joyless life is not a Christian life, for joy is one constant recipe for Christian living.
The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.
If Christians do not rejoice it is not because they are Christians, but because they are not Christian enough. Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ.
If Christ came that we might have joy (life to the full), if the Holy Spirit is at work in us to produce joy, then it is a contradiction of God’s purpose for us when we are not joyful.
The purpose of rejoicing is not so we can feel better emotionally (though that will happen). The purpose of joy is to glorify God by demonstrating to an unbelieving world that our loving and faithful heavenly Father cares for us and provides for us all that we need.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice” (Phi 4:4). All our joy must terminate in God; and our thoughts of God must be delightful thoughts. Delight thyself in the Lord (Psm. 37:4)… Observe, it is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in Him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for Him, or are afflicted by Him. We must not think the worse of Him or of His ways for the hardships we meet with in His service. There is enough in God to furnish us with matter of joy in the worst circumstance on earth… Joy in God is a duty of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it.
No sorrow, no disappointment, however severe, could ever interrupt, let alone extinguish, the joy of [our] salvation with its vision of unclouded glory to come, for this joy founded upon the sovereign supremacy of God, who overrules all things and causes them to work together for good to those He has called.
God is particularly interested in our joy. He tells us, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). When the church gathers, the sense of confident joy in God should be pronounced. When we fail to demonstrate delight and satisfaction in God, we’re not only dishonoring God, we’re disobeying Him. More than anyone else on earth, Christians have a reason to celebrate.
A Christian should and must be a cheerful person. If he isn’t, the devil is tempting him.
Pursuing joy in God and praising God are not separate acts.
Joy is not just the spin-off of obedience to God, but part of obedience. It seems as though people are willing to let joy be a byproduct of our relationship to God, but not an essential part of it. People are uncomfortable saying that we are duty-bound to pursue joy. They say things like, “Don’t pursue joy, pursue obedience.” But Christian Hedonism responds, “That’s like saying, ‘Don’t eat apples; eat fruit.'” Because joy is an act of obedience. We are commanded to rejoice in God. If obedience is doing what God commands, then joy is not merely the spin-off of obedience, it is obedience. The Bible tells us over and over to pursue our joy (Psm. 32:11; 37:4; 67:4; Lk. 10:20; Phil. 4:4).
If Christ’s honor is our passion, the pursuit of pleasure in Him is our duty.
Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus His Son. And it is the fruit of his Spirit. Those who embrace Jesus as their Savior and treasure, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father, enter into that Trinitarian joy.
Bored boasting in Christ and sad exultation in Christ are oxymorons. The enjoyment is essential to making much of Christ.
Christianity is a divine project of replacing inferior joys in inferior objects with superior joys in God Himself.
If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.
It is important for us to make a distinction between the spiritual fruit of joy and the cultural concept of happiness. A Christian can have joy in his heart while there is still spiritual depression in his head. The joy that we have sustains us.