Joy-The First Characteristic Of The Invisible Kingdom
Herod the Tetrarch, a Jew by birth who was hated for his relationship with Rome, ruled Galilee during Jesus' ministry. So when people came to hear Jesus as He spoke of establishing the kingdom of God, the Jews were nervous as it could be considered sedition. But He was helping men and women know that the invisible Kingdom of which He spoke was within their hearts. "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).
They didn't believe Him, nor did they understand. So how was Jesus' Kingdom different from the kingdoms of the world? The first is that God's kingdom is a kingdom of joy. In his letter to Roman Christians, Paul explained, "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
Long ago the psalmist said, "In your presence [speaking of God's presence] is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11 NASB). When David's relationship with God was broken by his sin with Bathsheba, he cried out," Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation"(Psalm 51:12 KJV).
When Jesus was here - even in the week prior to His crucifixion - He spoke to the disciples of having joy in the face of adversity. He said, "I have told you this (what is to happen) so that my joy may be in you..." (John 15:11).
Surprisingly the word joy is mentioned over 200 times in some forty references in the Bible. The blessing of God in the lives of those who are citizens of God's kingdom produces a deep-seated joy that isn't dependent on health, wealth or circumstances. It's based on one's relationship with God who Himself has touched a person's life for the better.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ROMANS 14:17