For as long as I can remember, I have been seeking the meaning behind one of my favourite Bible verses found in Nehemiah 8:10, that says the Joy of the Lord is my strength. What is the Lord’s joy and how can I make it my strength to help me endure the tough times in life?
I first wrote about my discovery of Joy back in 2017, which you can read here, if you are also on a journey to find more joy in your life.
Recently, during a rough period, I felt God kept bringing me to verses about olive oil, which I discovered is often referred to in the Bible as the oil of gladness, and is used to anoint people with the presence of God’s Spirit, and what we are called to keep our oil full in our lamps to light our way.
Remember the story of Noah when the dove came back to declare dry ground, well I don’t believe it was by accident that it brought back an olive branch. The dove and the olive branch served to tell Noah a time of peace and deliverance had come. When you consider that the word Gethsemane means “olive press”, you realise the significance of what happened there to God's Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
After reading all the scriptures in various translations through the Biblegateway App of anointing, oil and joy, I began to see that there is a connection between experiencing joy in the anointing presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
Joy is not an emotion, but a place in our spirit that we choose to enter into, and a fruit of His Holy Spirit that is grown in us.
In Hebrews 12:2, we see how joy was something that Jesus set before Him, so that He could endure the agony of the cross. His joy was in the knowing the outcome and the end result of what He was going through, and knowing it was in God’s will.
The secular definition of joy falls short of the original meaning of rejoice, or be glad.
Joy is found in our gladness and gratefulness of our salvation and in the knowing of the deliverance and reward we can look forward to in the outcome of our trials. Joy is in the receiving of God’s promises. Joy is a focus before it will ever become a feeling. Joy is a fruit we grow when we choose to abide in God’s Holy Spirit, and it is our biggest treasure that the devil seeks to steal from us every day.
To keep hold of our joy, we need to be waking up every morning with the song in our heart, declaring “This is the day, this is the day, we will rejoice and be glad in it…”
To self-study further about joy and how it relates to the anointing olive oil of the Tree of Life, here are some further verses to take a look at, in various translation versions, to help unpack their hidden meanings:
- Ecclesiastes 9:8
- Isaiah 61:3
- Zechariah 4
- Hebrews 1:9
- Psalm 45:7
- 1 Chronicles 16:27
- Acts 10:38
- Acts 13:52
- Matthew 25:23
- John 15:11
- Romans 15:13