“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay!”
This is a praise song written in the 1970’s that is still occasionally sung in the Western churches. Sometimes when something wonderful has happened, I find myself walking along the street joyfully humming this tune. But I have to admit, at times when I am sad or discouraged, I am annoyed when the worship leader begins with this melody. However, it is exactly what I need to be singing.
The Lord came to replace our grief and sorrow with gladness. In fact, He says He wants to give us the oil of joy. Oil is used by priests and leaders in the church to anoint a blessing of healing, power to minister, or an inheritance. In Isaiah 61:3, when God anoints us with this oil of gladness, it is to replace the sorrow in our heart. Paul includes joy in his list of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). In other words, no matter how difficult things are, the Holy Spirit can anoint us with joy.
If you are walking through a time of suffering, raise your hands in surrender to God and ask Him to fill you with joy. Invite a leader in your church or a couple friends to pray over you to receive the Lord’s joy. He wants to give you a "garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah61:3). As we continue to develop this topic of joy, we will discuss various perspectives that will help us to walk more consistently in joy. But today, we must take the first step. This is a step of surrendering to God’s will. Ask Him to give you joy and faith to accept His plans for your life. One of the greatest gospel tools is joy. As nonbelievers see our joy, they will be drawn to Christ.
Jesus tells us that “in this world we will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As we allow Jesus to be Master and King of our lives and surrender all to His Lordship, He will fill us with joy for He has the power to overcome all sin and sadness. Then you can experience the day referred to in the opening song: “Joy in my heart to stay!”