I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
Joy is an emotion that everyone desires to feel. Attempts to achieve happiness are as varied as people exist now and have existed on earth. Everyone has their own definition of what joy means to them and how they think they can get it. Many think money is the key to happiness and devote much effort during much of their life trying to amass huge fortunes for the purpose of ensuring that their lives will be full of happiness and joy. Almost everyone, especially those who are not extremely stubborn, have ended up understanding what conventional wisdom has long known: “Money can not buy happiness.” Others try desperately to find an occupation that represents the greatest satisfaction of their concerns and the greater recognition of those around them. Their idol is the approval of others and when they are not being paid attention or are not verbally acknowledged for their achievements they fall into outright depression. Others believe that happiness is only achieved by exercising a strong hold on those who have to obey and carry out any whim of their ambitious minds. These are just some of the ways people try to fill their lives with joy, with little success we may add.
The basis of happiness and joy for the children of God is the presence of the Holy Spirit controlling most aspects of their lives, as many as he is allowed to control. It does not mean we have to behave like zombies with no personality or free will of our own automatically carrying out every order we receive from the Comforter. It is rather the transformation of our evil nature by the power of the Holy Spirit of God into a state of sanctification that allows us to improve every day and to better imitate our Lord Jesus Christ. Joy is together with love and peace at the top of the long list of benefits that the Spirit’s presence in our lives grants us. Joy of knowing that we are now children of God, who have been rescued from condemnation and that our Lord Jesus Christ will soon return for His church to live for ever and ever in the incomparable and indescribable presence of God. To God alone be the glory!