"Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!" Psalm 64:10, NIV.
Joy is something beyond happiness, it is more than happiness because happiness comes from experiences or circumstances that are from an external source or event; but joy is regardless of events or actions, joy is in the heart despite events. We may look to things like money, job, family, or some successful project to give us joy, but it is fading and shallow. Joy does not need good things to happen to exist; it is apart from the world around us.
Joy is a gift of God. To rejoice is a spiritual activity. Scripture commands us to be joyful* and to rejoice. The source of joy must be the Lord, not the events of the world around us.
THAT LITTLE WORD "IN"
The verse says rejoice in the Lord, we take refuge in him. The first meaning is that the Lord is the source and object of the joy we experience. The second meaning implies that the saved are brought into something, that when we come to the Lord we have become included into something- Christ* with all the blessings of salvation.
The verse begins with the word, "let." This suggests a decision. We have to make a conscious effort to make the Lord our joy and take joy in him. He will work on our hearts to grow the fruit of joy in us.
We need to...
- Recognize the Lord is the source of true joy.
- Maintain a relationship with Lord.
- Confess the sin of refusing joy.
- Accept the gift of joy from the Holy Spirit.
- Resolve not to feel sorry for ourselves.
- Focus on the Lord and not our problems.
- Spend time in prayer and Bible study to strengthen our relationship with the Lord.
Only the righteous can know true joy. We cannot make ourselves righteous before God, the pure, holy, judge of the earth, but He gives it freely in His son and the work Jesus did on the cross for you and me. When we come to Him, empty handed, in faith, He gives us eternal life and with it comes joy.
To learn more about having a relationship with the Lord follow this link: Salvation.
* Philippians 4:14, *2 Corinthians 5:17