“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” I John 1:4
What is joy? It is a difficult concept to define precisely, however I came across a discussion by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on certain elements that constitute joy:
The first element is that of a state of complete satisfaction. It is an all-encompassing feeling of fulfillment — mind, heart, emotions and desires. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that this is an essential part of joy.
The second element of joy is “a spirit of exultation”. Dr. Lloyd-Jones portrays a child happily playing with his toy, and then someone comes along and gives the child a surprise: the child springs to his feet in glee; “there is a brightness, a flush which is exultant”. Joy is more active: there is a “positive spirit of exultation and rejoicing”.
The third element, Dr. Lloyd-Jones suggests, is “a feeling of power and of strength. There is nothing flabby or superficial about it. Joy is one of the strongest powers in the world. When you are truly joyful, you are wound up by some mighty dynamic power; you feel strong, you are lifted up above yourself, you are ready to meet every enemy from every direction and quarter.”
Dr. Lloyd-Jones admits that the above elements constitute an inadequate description of joy, but it is difficult to describe it any further. He concludes his outline of joy by these words:
“Joy is something very deep and profound, something that affects the whole and entire personality. In other words, it comes to this; there is only one thing that can give true joy and that is a contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfies my mind; He satisfies my emotions; He satisfies my every desire. He and His great salvation include the whole personality and nothing less, and in Him I am complete”.
“Joy, in other words, is the response and the reaction of the soul to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
*** photography by George Thomas