I feel people often mistake joy for two things. One, they believe it is a sentimental thing. And two, they believe it is about happiness.
I want to begin by acknowledging that this understanding is not entirely wrong. But then again, it is also not entirely right. Joy is sentimental, by that I mean, you can feel it. It is emotional, psychological… et cetera. But at the same time, it is much about discipline as well. The Psalmist made it a point that they begin their day by seeking God as their all satisfying good. (Ps 90:14) And then, they would devote their mornings and evenings in meditating the Word of God. (Ps 1:2) Because this granted them joy. They delighted in this. And this, I believe, it is nothing but the makings of a disciplined life. It trains the mind and the heart to focus on God and heavenly things – as all disciples should. (Col 3:2)
Secondly, joy is also about happiness. But happiness in this context does not mean an elevated sensation. If godly people were happy (that way) all the time – they’d be useless. They won’t understand what suffering is, what compassion is, what mercy is or love or what grace is. The kind of happiness this joy consists, is the subtle kind of gladness. (Is 35:10) It is the peace that comes from knowing and believing YHWH reigns supreme over our lives. (Ps 16:11) Therefore, the only way we persist in the joy of salvation is by persisting in prayer and in the Word of God.
There is a simple ideation that I follow. I make it a point that I devote the best hours of my day to God – in prayer and in reading the Word. I call it tithing my day. You see, I believe God instituted the law of tithing, so that we learn to prioritize Him. I believe time (like money) is also a privilege possession that God has gifted us. And as the Apostle stated, once in Christ, our time becomes a redeemed time. (Eph 5:16) I think giving the best of our day is (also) a proper response. But that is just (about) me. I don’t know what would suit you. But there’s one thing I know for sure – persisting in joy is a disciplined act. And good disciples, joyous disciples, fruit bearing disciples are known by their Christ-ordered disciplined life. I pray that God would intervene in our lives and grant us the heart that seeks such discipline. So that we could know Him more, love Him more, and serve Him more. To God be the Glory.
I am grateful to God for the successful completion of this devotional series. I am grateful to God for you as well, dear readers. I am grateful for the encouragements. I am grateful for all the new things I’ve learned during this period. I am grateful for my health and resources, and the necessary environment needed for me to study, and write this short series. I had a blessed time preparing and sharing these words. I hope you had the same experience as well. Until next time. Shalom!
Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me (7) Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man (8) Holy Saturday: Silent Prelude (9) Easter Sunday: Dawn of an Indestructible Joy
If you want to read a thorough scriptural exposition on Redeeming the time, you’ll find it here: Ephesians 5:16 / Redeeming the time