Oh, there's a great deal of unrest in this world, and there will always be unrest for those who do not know Jesus. Apart from Him there is no true peace, no joy, and no real happiness either. But this should never be the case for the Christian. If you are a Christian, you should draw close to God. You should feed on Scripture, and “the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace in believing" (Rom. 15:13). 

The third principle for a life of continuous, supernatural joy is to steep yourself in the teachings of the Bible. When I first began to study what the Bible has to say about joy, I was surprised to discover how many times joy is associated with a mature knowledge of God's Word. David said, "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8). “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches" (Ps. 119:14). Jesus said, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:10-11). These verses teach that joy is to be found in a knowledge of God's character and commandments, and these can be found in His Word.

The first principle for having Christian joy is that you must be a Christian. I know this seems obvious, but in my experience at least two classes of people need to face this squarely. The first class is composed of those who are not Christians and know it, but who think that Christian fruits can be grown without a Christian life. If you are such a person, you need to recognize that joy is supernatural, and that it's only given to those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. 

In yesterday’s study, we concluded by talking about happiness. On the other hand, joy is quite different. Joy comes directly from God, and is not related to circumstances; and so no circumstances can ever destroy it. Thus if the individual belongs to God and is allowing God to fill him with joy—along with all the other fruits of the Christian life described in Galatians 5:22-23—he will triumph. 

I frequently visit a woman who's been confined to a nursing home for many years. She has a form of acute, crippling arthritis that has left her unable to walk and she can't even move. She's unable to care for herself in many simple but necessary things. At times she is in almost unbearable pain. Still this woman speaks of the goodness and grace of God, not only to herself, but also to many others who are with her in that home. She knows real joy, and she shows it in the midst of suffering.