What is joyology? Well, since it’s not a real word, we’ll have to break it up and like any good student does these days, let’s Google it.
Ology: A subject of study; a branch of knowledge
Joy: A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
These dictionary definitions are tied to events, results of our efforts, or objects we can acquire.
Here’s how the bible defines joy (Strongs #5479). From the Greek, Chara; Cheerfulness that is calm delight. Joy is a feeling of inner gladness, delight, or rejoicing (Precept Austin, 1/15/2020).
Clearly, there is a difference between the general definition and perception of joy and what God intended for us to experience.
Joy is the serious business of Heaven. – C. S. Lewis
Why don’t we experience joy as our Creator intended?
I am not living a joyful life, and I can’t say why yet—what a way to start a series on joy.
I know, but that’s what I realized as I prepared to write on this subject. What’s worse, I am not alone. I believe there are many other Christians not living joyfully right along with me. Saying that out loud might be frowned upon in some Christian circles.
We’re talking about living in the Joy of the Lord. Saying we’re not living in the fullness of that joy is a sad admission, but one I think needs saying.
At the end of last year, I took an internal inventory to confirm things. Yup, I found joy in the desired quantity and for the right reasons, which disappointed me.
No, it’s not a 2020 thing. As challenging as 2020 was, it’s just a thing.
What does the Bible say about Joy?
The bible says a lot about joy, but let’s focus on this for today.
“I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. John 15:11 CSB
This is what God intended that our joy may be complete in Christ. Because Jesus said, we can believe it. Think about that. Jesus said, “my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.” This more than implies that our joy is not based on what we can do but what He can do in us.
Joy, the calm delight of our souls, comes from a relationship with Jesus.
Friends, I’m not depressed, ill, or lacking anything I need. I’m ok. I’m fine. But I’m not ok with fine. I want what Jesus promised, don’t you?
As a Christian, I wonder why that calm delight only comes in fits and spurts.
How to live in the joy of the Lord as God intended. That’s what this journey is all about and how to apply what we learn in real life, so it sticks. Does any of this resonate with you, friend? If it does, say so. That’s the first step toward finding joy. Then, let’s figure this out together.
I’m writing this series about Joy in February, but maybe I won’t stop there. Why limit this Joyology 101 experience to one month, after all?
Joy, let’s make it a new thing.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43: 18-19
- Have you taken an internal inventory only to find joy missing?
- On what are you basing your joy?
- This week, every day, try listing three things that bring you joy, then thank God for them. This small activity of recognizing daily blessings and giving thanks may put a smile on your face.