Psalm 126, Isaiah 12:1–6

Around Christmas, joy is used a lot. Many Christmas songs use the word, a lot. What is joy? Without defining it, we leave it to the world to define it for us, which is dangerous, for the world misses so much without God. For us, we need to look at joy as a deep-seated emotion that provides assurance, resolve, positive outlook, and is life-giving through building up of self and others and is based upon the character and nature of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Is this an all-encompassing understanding of joy? Probably not. In fact, joy is often used, even in Scripture, to mean something different. This is why it is so important to set our expectations for joy and what we are actually looking for when we seek joy.

True joy is fully dependent upon our relationship with God. A person who touches on the joy of God (such as having children) gets a taste, but it is not the full expression of joy. In many respects, we will not fully understand joy in this life. Even the most devout believer still only gets a taste of joy on this side of things. So, imagine the person who doesn’t have that depth with God. The “taste” they get is even less than the taste experienced by believers. It makes sense that joy is often confused in the world.

  1. Why should we put such a strong point of God being integral to joy?
  2. If you were to change the definition of joy given about, what would you add, remove, or change?
  3. Why is it important to look for joy?

Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at