We speak with word pictures about virtues and values all the time. Here is one that comes straight from God’s Word. God gives us JOY that we can taste when we give and serve the least of these, the hungry and lonely and afflicted. As we revel in the joy that God gives us when we have found Jesus Christ to be trustworthy with our souls, God transforms our definition of JOY. Joy becomes a lasting pleasure for us, one that is not dependent upon ease and comfort physically but rather a result of pouring God’s love into the lives of others. Check out this passage from Isaiah 58:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
(Isaiah 58:6-12 ESV)