How to Have Joy

Although the Bible usually speaks of laughter as being bad, or associated with God’s judgment, it does say a lot about rejoicing and joy.

Laughter, according to the Bible anyway, is not necessary to rejoicing or joy.

One thing I noticed while looking at many verses about joy and rejoicing is how often it is tied in directly with righteousness. Here are some examples:

Proverbs 21:15– It is joy to the just to do judgment
Psalm 32:11– Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
Psalm 68:3– But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Proverbs 29:6– In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.
1 Corinthians 13:6—love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
1 Thessalonians 5:15-16– See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore.

If you are not righteous and are not doing righteousness you have no reason to rejoice.

One of the greatest sources of joy, based on these verses, is doing what is right. People who do what is wrong may appear to have more fun. They may laugh a lot. But true joy comes from being and doing what is right.

In our excitement to tell people to be happy and have joy, we often skip the basis of that joy. Our true message should be: Be made righteous in Christ and then go do what is right. Joy flows from that. Joy is the end, not the means.

The modern American message of happy-happy all the time pulls the rug out from under the joy it promises. The church today bases joy on temporal happiness, not on righteousness.

Our flesh will tell us this is a lie. Truly happy people live in sin and let it rip.

Sorry, not true. Not true from the Bible nor from experience. I know lots of people who lived in sin, bragging about how happy and fun life is. It’s lies. You can’t live in sin and have joy. You can’t.

Joy is based on righteousness. Don’t forget it. Want joy? Be righteous.

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