J is for Joy


“J” may not have many pages in the thesaurus (only 81 words), but it’s a different story in the Bible dictionary. There are 244 proper names in the good book that start with “J”. Here’s a sampling: Jesus, Jacob, Judah, Job, John, Joshua, James, Joseph, Joanna, Judas, Josiah, Jonah, Jezebel, Jeremiah, Jabez….. “J” was very popular in Bible times. Of course, in Hebrew these names started with “Yodh”.

Since I’m going to stick with my self-imposed rules, my favorite word that starts with J is JOY. It’s a happy word. I think we all could use a happy word right now.

I’ve heard it said that there is difference between happiness and joy. Some believe happiness is based on external happenings while joy comes from within. Maybe. But in the original Biblical languages there isn’t a delineation between the two. Joyful people are happy — happy people have joy.

Here is one of the best definitions of joy I’ve  heard:

Joy is the settled assurance
that God is in control
of all the details of my life,

the quiet confidence
that ultimately everything
is going to be alright

and the determined choice
to praise God
in every situation.”
(Rick Warren)

Did you get that?
Settled assurance,
quiet confidence,
determined choice.

That’s what joy looks like while we’re on this side of eternity.
We can get help from the Holy Spirit to cultivate this fruit of joy.

But just you wait.
We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

“Those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
Isaiah 35:10

We’re gonna sing with joy!
We’re gonna wear joy-crowns!
We’re gonna be carried away with joy!

joy

My favorite word in the Bible that starts with “J” is JOY!

2 thoughts on “J is for Joy

  1. This blog went well with my reading this morning in Ecclesiastes. Our life is “hevel”, a vapor, out of our control and eventually leads to death for us all. But God has given us such a gift, to find joy in such things as friendships, family, sunny days, beautiful sunsets- things not in our control or guaranteed, but to be experienced. God’s gift is to find joy in life as I am experiencing it, and not to worry about how I think life ought to be.

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