No one ever explained what that meant exactly to have joy down in our hearts, but we took it for granted because we had been in church most of our lives and that song, like so many others, was handed down from teacher to teacher - class to class and I guess we were to just expected KNOW and UNDERSTAND why we had 'joy' in our hearts.
My grandson was here a couple weeks ago, on his usual Tuesday with Nana, and we were singing; I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. After singing it through a couple times, I asked him what that meant and he told me, "Because Nana, your name is Joy and I've got you in my heart." Whoosh! Oh yes, we'd taught him the given names of his parents and grandparents for safety and security reasons, so relating me to the joy in the song was within his scope of understanding.
As gratified as I was at his expression of love for me and as swelled as it made this much older heart of mine, I was nudged by the Spirit to use that opportunity as a teaching moment. I quickly asked the Lord to help me explain to that bright little four-year-old that the song doesn't mean this 'Joy' was in his or my heart but the kind of joy that comes from happiness of having Jesus in our heart. He asked some very good questions, and I could tell he was very close to an understanding of salvation.
Now, as intelligent as my grandson is, and he's pretty smart for a four-year-old, (just ask his Bompa) he didn't quite grasp the concept of how the 'joy' gets into our hearts. That's okay because we have the song to sing that will remind him of our conversation. How do I know? Because I've been asking God to remind him of it whenever that song comes to his mind. And it will. You can be sure I will be singing that song with him for some time to come.
Do you have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart? If so, is there someone you know who needs to have that same joy of the Lord explained to them? Don't wait too long to share the song and its meaning with them. We're never too old to sing it or learn it and especially share it.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart - Where?
Down in my heart to stay!