The Bible insists upon JOY as an element of Christian life. Christ spoke of his desire that the disciples should have his joy fulfilled in themselves. Paul exhorts Christians to rejoice always, and speaks of joy as one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Christian joy is not hilarity. One maybe sorrowful, and yet have the joy of the Lord in the heart. It is an inner joy–a fountain in the heart, supplied from heaven. Every Christian should have this joy. It belongs to the ideal of the complete Christian character. It is very evident, however, that there are many Christians who do not have it. Their spirits go up and down like the mercury in the thermometer, varying with the atmosphere. When things are pleasant–they have joy. When circumstances are hard or painful–they have no joy.
We ought to know how to get the joy of Christ. One secret is absolute devotion to the will of God. Another is serving others. Only as we learn to live the life of love, “Not to be ministered unto–but to minister” can we find true, deep joy. Every self-denial or sacrifice of love for another’s sake, adds to the Christian’s joy. We reach the ideal life–only as joy lives in our heart, and shines out in our life.