Joy is the gigantic Secret of heaven. If we are silent about the joy that comes from knowing Jesus, the very stones will cry out! (Luke 19:40). Just as the crowds shouted praises when they saw Jesus, His presence in our lives should draw praise from our lips. Christian joy is the echo of God's life in us. So why does it sometimes seem that Christians are the most joyless people in the world? How can we unlock the treasure chest of Christian joy?
In Philippians 3:1-11, Paul gave us several wonderful truths about maintaining our joy, especially in the face of hardship. The first nugget of truth is to remind yourself who is the source of joy. The chapter begins with a cheerful command: "Rejoice in the Lord." This joy has its source beyond mere human joy, and therefore it is outside of us. Christian joy is a focused concentration on our relationship to and position in Jesus Christ, and it is maintained through the deliberate remembrance of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord.
Paul's encouragement to rejoice describes a settled state of mind characterized by peace and calmness. Joy is not the absence of trouble, it is the presence of the sovereign Lord. Christians are not left to the mercy of fate and the outside forces of chance. Joy allows us to see beyond any particular circumstance to the One who stands above all human events and ultimately has control over them.
Christian joy is not a product of circumstance and events. If we experience failed relationships, financial reversals, trials and afflictions, sickness and death, we can still rejoice. Happiness happens because of our happenings, but joy is a choice we make through the Holy Spirit. - Marvin Williams