“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh…”
Depression, anxiety, stress and fear have taken far too many victims. Crusty religion has brought dullness to the “good news of great joy” proclaimed at the coming of Christ. Joy, on the other hand, is one of the most freeing things in the world! It’s a characteristic of God Himself, it’s ⅓ of the kingdom and it’s meant for the people God to live in! You need it, I need it...the world needs it!
When I was youth pastoring, my group started experiencing the joy of the Lord and laughing all crazy. I wasn’t sure what to think of it because it was all new. So I went to the scriptures and found that in His Presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11).
It was like the Lord brought me back to times where I was uncontrollably gut busting laughing because of...well...let’s just call it “toilet humor.” I was laughing so hard I would cry.
For me to judge people who are caught up in the Presence of God with wild laughter but then accept my wild laughter at “toilet humor” was really contradictory…
I realized that fullness of joy doesn’t have to include wild laughter, but you can’t exclude it because of misunderstanding or fear.
Laughter is accepted in all these areas of life (joking around, movies, comedy clubs, etc) but when you cross the threshold of the church all the rules change and people aren’t allowed to be human beings anymore!
Many church cultures will embrace crying, but when the joy comes you’re all of a sudden the weird person in the room! It’s what Peter called “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). You don’t have to understand it!
Let’s embrace joy! Become like kids again! Lighten up! God is joyful and we can be too.
In this post, I want to share scriptures, quotes and a few thoughts on the power of joy.
Here’s what the Bible says about joy:
...In Your presence is fullness of joy...
...Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
...Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
...The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
"For the joy set before Him he endured the cross."
Here’s what people have said:
“Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, but joy is” - Unknown
“In order to laugh, you have to let go of something” - Steve Backlund
“Fake joy is better than genuine depression” - Steve Backlund
“Joy releases a breaker anointing!” - Jerame Nelson
“The woodpecker laughs to tell other birds where its territory is. When we choose joy and laughter we are claiming our territory in the kingdom.” - Seth Dahl
“Joy is serious business in the kingdom!” - Georgian Banov
This is just a small sampling…
The reality is, God is a joyful laughing God. (see also Zephaniah 3:17).
He dances, He sings, He laughs and He rejoices! He is not intimidated by the enemy or by what we see as trying circumstances.
Remember the story of when the prodigal son came home? The scripture tells us that the father had a huge celebration and from the outside you could hear music and dancing! (Luke 15)
That’s a picture of our dancing, laughing, rejoicing God!
God is joyful - so by Him just showing up, joy fills the atmosphere!
Laughter is connected to joy! It’s the outward expression of joy. It’s the sound of joy (see Ps. 89:15 above).
We are made in the image of a joyful God!
Quick access keys to entering into the joy of the Lord:
1. Let go of what people are going to think of you
2. Don’t try to understand everything
3. Repent for being too serious (lol), the kingdom is for children
4. Meditate on the goodness and Presence of Jesus
5. Activate your joy by laughing
I encourage you to meditate on the scriptures above and let Holy Spirit teach you the amazing effects joy can have on you.
Enter in to the joy of the Lord! It’s your inheritance!
How has the joy of the Lord had an effect on your life?
What do you need to let go of in order to embrace joy?