“Inexpressible and glorious joy” is a defining characteristic of the new life in Jesus, v.3.
It is also one of the most misunderstood.
In biblical thought, “joy” and being “happy” or “blessed” are separate although related ideas.
Becoming born again as a Christian is a profound life change. It is entering in a new spiritually-energised life where the Holy Spirit becomes one with our human spirit. It feels very different. Things that were murkily unclear before start to snap into focus – the spiritual discernment the Holy Spirit brings us. We become more aware of the spiritual realm, where God is involved with our lives on earth, and we can start to see what He is doing, over and above what we are doing.
Coming into this new life with Jesus is to gain a deep inner resource of something more than being happy – a profound gratitude and security that comes from belonging to God and knowing His unconditional love. It is to know that we belong to Him and He to us, and our destiny is decided, in Jesus, not in our attempts to live well for Him.
No religious belief system offers this. It is not ‘politically correct’ to sound exclusive, but in truth this joy only comes through the relationship that happens when we ask Jesus into our hearts. People search for inner joy in every way imaginable, from drug-fuelled parties to possessions and success, and even through dedication to doing good works – but the joy, t he security, t he knowing we are loved and saved, knowing we have a Lord who is for us and not against us – it only comes through relationship with Jesus.
• The Greek word for soul, psuchē, encompasses spirit, thought and emotions, and body – the whole person, not just the inner person.