“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…..down in my heart to stay”
As I thought about joy, the words from a song I learned in Vacation Bible School many years ago came to mind. The memory of that brings a smile and a reminder of the simple joys found in merely being a child. As adults, we tend to make things difficult, but as a child I knew that I had joy in my heart simply because I had Jesus in my heart. The two things, Joy and Jesus, were linked in some spiritual way that I didn’t quite understand but which I believed fully.
My understanding of joy has grown over the years along with the occasionally yearning for that simple childlike faith. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the little children (Matthew19:14), a reminder that we are, most importantly, children of God. And in that knowledge, there is joy. This joy reminds us that our Father God loves us very much, He watches over us, and He sees each of us, not as a grown adult trying to get by, but as His precious child. He wants us to experience the joy that comes from humbling our self to serve Him, giving our self over to His purposes for His glory, and sharing that joy with others.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is a temporary emotion which comes and goes according to the circumstances. Joy is an inward state of being. We can be joyful even when we are not happy.
I have joy because I have hope – a promise that I am His and there is a much better life awaiting me. I have joy because I am content – I know what is valuable. I have joy because I am loved and I can love. I have joy - down in my heart to stay. I hope you also have that joy!