As the servants are rewarded (Matt. 25:19-23) they are told to “enter into the joy of the Lord.” This joy will be experienced in heaven. What great joy to live with God eternally! That joy will be experienced by those that have genuine joy here.
Heaven will be a place of worship (Revelation 4:10; 5:14). Surely we will not enjoy worship there if we cannot enjoy it here. Under the Old Testament David was “glad” (Psalm 122:1) or joyful to be able to worship. Is it a joy for us to assemble (Heb. 10:25) with the saints? James encourages those who are “merry” (joyful—James 5:13) to worship in song. What a joy is ours to “cast all our cares” (1 Pet. 5:7) upon God in prayer. God loves a “cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Are you a joyful contributor to the cause of Christ? Joy should be found in studying the word of God and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
The Christian’s life should be one of serving God by serving others (Rom. 12:1-2, 11). This service should give us joy. Paul speaks about “faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6). Serving one another brings joy because we want to help others (Gal. 6:10). Heaven, the joy of the Lord, will be enjoyed by those who serve others (Matthew 25:35-43).
Joy comes to those who are faithful to God. “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul knew that becoming unfaithful (1 Cor. 9:27) meant losing his joy. Too many take being faithful to the Lord and His church as a matter of convenience. They will be at services as long as it is convenient. They will do this or that as long as it doesn’t get in the way of doing what they want. This type of life isn’t full of joy.
Evangelism is a source of joy. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6). The man who found his sheep and the woman who searched for her coin (Luke 15:1-9) were full of joy in finding that which was lost. We meet those dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) day in and day out. When we are faithful (last point) to God and His word then we will teach and save others (1 Timothy 4:16). There is joy on the part of the one being saved and the one who has done the teaching. When one “gladly” (joyfully-Acts 2:41) receives the word there will be joy because of the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Have you experienced any joy lately?
The joy of the Lord begins with the joy of salvation. There was “great joy in that city (Samaria)” (Acts 8:8). What was the source of their joy? First they “gave heed” (Acts 8:6) to Philip’s preaching. They also “believed” and “were baptized” (Acts 8:12). The source of joy was found in having their sins washed away (Acts 22:16). Later in the chapter the Ethiopian had joy (Acts 8:39) for the same reason. Would you like to know the joy of salvation? In order to be saved one must believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of past sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus (Romans 10:10) and be baptized (Acts 2:38). When you come up out of that watery grave (Romans 6:3-4) you can know the joy of having sins forgiven.