The Garden of Eden before the fall of man was described to be a place of joy gladness, thanksgiving and voice of melody Isaiah 53:3 a) because the presence of God, the owner of joy and the source of joy was there (Psalm 16:11; Jeremiah. 32:41; Zephaniah. b) the heart of man was under the control of the Holy spirit and in the right relationship with God c) All creatures lived together in peace, love, joy and harmony. D) Man was still in his sinless state and had everything he needed.
Unfortunately, everything came to ruin after man fell into sin of disobedience to God’s commandment and was driven out from the garden to dwell in the world to dwell with Satan the evil and wicked one whom he had obeyed. Meanwhile Satan has no joy; he is the owner of sadness and gloominess. Man’s fallout with God robbed him of so many good things of life such as love, joy and peace. As man increased numerically, so also increased evil and wickedness, wars, natural disasters, and other negativities. The heart of man was at the receiving end of these negativities. Negativities hit hard on the heart like a blow with a blunt edge, pierced like arrows, burn like fire, and blow like gushing whirlwind, upset and terrified the heart arousing storms of diverse negative emotions and feelings. These make a man’s heart become troubled, afraid, broken, wounded, heavy, hard, bitter, sad, sorrowful, depressed and several more. All these are negative responses and are joy destroyers. Once the heart is affected negatively and joy destroyed, the body and spirit also become affected negatively, They become weak and sick. The importance of joy in the heart cannot be over emphasized as these Scriptural verses reveal; “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13). “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14). “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones (Proverbs 17:22). “All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:13, 15).
We thank God who in His love and mercy sent His salvation to the world through His only begotten son Jesus Christ to restore joy to the world (John 3:16). God’s kingdom is that of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). The kingdom of God on earth is marked by the restoration of joy through Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:2-3). Jesus came to give joy through His salvation (Isaiah 61: 3). Jesus, through the Holy Spirit brings joy to a heart that receives Him as Lord and Savior. Most true believers can testify of the great joy that filled their heart when they became born again. Among the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believers given by Him is joy (Galatians 5; 22-23). The joy that Christ gives is not known to the world and is not in any way comparable to what the people of the world refers to as joy which is in actual fact is happiness which is caused by outward things and happenings around and can be destroyed by man or changed circumstances. However Jesus’ own joy is Joy unspeakable and full of glory. The joy Jesus gives cannot be taken away by any man (John 16:22). Since it is the joy of the Holy Spirit from within us based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God to those who believe in Christ, it is independent of circumstances or happening around one or what others do or say or as a result of drugs and food or drink taken. This truth King David acknowledged sayings, “you have put gladness in my heart more than in the season of their grain and wine increase” (Psalm 4:7). This is the type of joy that can rejoice at all times both in the good times as well as in troubled times of tribulations, oppositions and great sufferings as Apostle Paul did.
Among God’s topmost desires for His children is to maintain an attitude of rejoicing in the Lord God of our salvation always for our good especially for the sake of our hearts. Therefore we are given charges on this in places such as; Ecclesiastes 11:9; Psalm 32:11; 33:1; 68:3; 95;1-2; 100:2; 105:3; Joel 2:23; John 16:33; Phil 4; 4; 1Thes. 5:16; 1 Peter 1:8. Definitely, our maintaining a cheerful disposition at all times is of great significance to God and of great benefits to us. So how can we be in the attitude of always rejoicing? What can make the heart maintain its joy in the Lord always irrespective of negative happenings around us?
One surest way of achieving this as believers is being of a grateful disposition and giving of thanks to God at all times through the help of the Holy Spirit. Thankfulness from the depth of one’s heart involves the entire human faculty and the joy of it cannot be hidden or contained, it revitalizes the body and it is expressed in the words actions and ways of life. It is an action one cannot predetermined because it is possessive in nature, once in charge it takes absolute control of the man. Its intoxicating power is more than that of wine. When the heart is truly grateful especially unto God for the salvation of our souls and all that is bestows on us, (Colossians. 1:10-14), the Holy Spirit releases joy into the heart and wonderful feelings of inexplicable joy and gladness erupts from the heart like fountain of water and flows into all parts body, soul and spirit. It spreads to all the places where the blood circulated from the heart reaches. It gives a sort of glow which shows in your looks and makes one beautiful. Nothing makes one more beautiful as having a happy heart.
We all need strength to carry us through the stress of each day. There is perhaps no exercise or drug in the whole world that can give us the required strength since the strength needed is from within, deep down the heart. The dispositions of your heart determine your performance. However, rejoicing does the same. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah. 8:10). It revitalizes, strengthens and invigorates the body and it is expressed in the words, actions and ways of life. One is full of expectancy and radiates so much sweetness and kindness to other people around. One is energized and could literally undertake any task successfully.
Aside the above, it is needful believers as the light of the world meant to show forth the glory of God and attract others to Christ that our lives radiates with exuberant joy and cheerfulness always, only then would you be able to preach and be a successful witness to draw men to Christ for it takes a joyful and cheerful person to attract others, flies are not attracted to vinegar, but to honey.
Another importance of rejoicing always in the Lord is that it helps keep the Holy Spirit. We saw that murmuring, complaining, grumblings speaking evil against God, by the children of Israel caused by discontentment and ingratitude over what God gave them made them incur the wrath of God.
Be resolved today as Habakkuk did to rejoice in God no matter what happens by offering Him thanksgiving in all things and for all things because He is the God of our salvation and our strength, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places. (Habakkuk 3: 17-19).
Being full of gratitude to God for a happy night rest, life, new mercies, and a brand new day loaded with benefits, first thing in the morning and throughout the rest of the day keeps one singing, dancing and smiling all day long saying “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.