Joy can be an indicator of the presence or absence of soul prosperity. What if there were an instrument--a joy meter--that physicians would poke us with during a wellness check to see just how "well" we really are?
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands; if you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet; if you’re happy and you know, then your life will surely show it; if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. That little jingle has made its way into church camps, vacation Bible school programs, Sunday school classes, and even Scouting circles.
It’s hard to be grumpy when you sing it, but just because we sing a happy little song with funny motions doesn’t mean happiness follows us throughout the day. Serial killers could sing that song and make the motions if forced to in a prison setting, but how many would genuinely have happiness defining their personalities?
God wants us to be happy. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord, Psalm 144:15 (NKJV) says, but the word happy in that verse means blessed. When we honor God as our Lord and have no other gods before Him, He extends His favor to us, and our lives are blessed. Being happy does not mean that we maintain a constant level of rip-roaring, hilarious laughter and happiness. The Lord chastens whom He loves, and as Job 5:17 (NKJV) says, Behold, happy (blessed) is the man whom God corrects; therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
Happy in that verse is the same Hebrew word, ashre or ‘esher, as joyful, used in many other scriptures. When the Lord chastens, corrects, or adjusts us, He fulfills His role as our loving Father, only wanting our highest good. Knowing that Almighty God loves us brings a sense of security and deep joy. God’s love is so magnificent that even during the most challenging times of pain and grief, His strength, comfort, and reassurance infuse us with a supernatural joy, bubbling in our spirit like a percolating pot of coffee. The joy of the Lord is our strength, Nehemiah 8:10 declares.
If we have the deep, abiding joy of the Lord during times of adversity, it shows. Joy is the mark of maturity. If our level of joyfulness could be measured with a joy meter, it would be commensurate with our level of obedience to the Lord and our commitment to Him. Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the law of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey His decrees and search for Him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths (Psalm 119:1-3 NLT).
The closer we get to our loving Father through obedience and commitment, the more joyful/happy/blessed we become! You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).
Joy can be an integral part of healing the body. A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression Proverbs 17:22 (TPT). Joy is the face of a prospering soul!
If your joy meter is registering a low level of joy, approach the presence of the Lord through reading His Word, praying, and praising Him. The better we understand the Word of God, the more we are comforted by it, and the more joy bubbles up inside us, no matter our circumstances.
A simple heart-to-heart conversation with the Lord—perhaps confessing an area of disobedience to Him or giving thanks to Him for something—can draw you into His presence within minutes. Before you know it, joy is bubbling up inside you. You are happy, and you know it, and your life will surely show it!
© 2022, Chris Werre