Jesus must have been the most joyful person ever. Psalm 45:7 says of Him, “…thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Although a “man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), Jesus had a sustaining joy in His spirit.
As Christian leaders, we are regularly in scenes of grief—either our own or as we bear the burdens of others. But the heavy points of ministry need not steal our joy.
There are two truths in particular that can help us retain our joy in ministry.
Christian joy is internal
Circumstances, people, and worry are only threats to our joy when our joy is rooted in these places. Joy that is rooted in the character of God Himself can remain constant.
Take Paul’s example. From prison he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
Anyone who has preached on Christian joy knows this truth, but sometimes we forget it. If your joy is wavering, rejoice in the Lord!
Joy is generated by serving others
I have watched men and women in my twenty-six years of pastoring who have lost their joy. Often, that loss occurred when they stepped out of service. Their happiest moments were when they were helping others!
There is joy in serving Jesus! Paul was so aware of this truth that he wrote, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all” (Philippians 2:17).
Spiritual leaders need joy. It is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and it is an accurate representation of the blessing of living for the Lord.
Jesus offers to give us His joy: “…these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).
Has your joy slumped? Rejoice in the Lord, and serve His people.