Let’s talk about joy!!

Let me at the beginning today take a quick survey. 

How many of you have ever been discouraged?

How many of you could use more joy in your life?

Okay I’m teaching the right message to the right group today.

You know it’s going to be a bad day when:

– you turn on the morning news and they’re displaying emergency routes out of the city

– you wake up in the morning and the sun rises in the west

– your boss tells you not to bother taking off your coat

– your horn gets stuck following a group of hell’s angels

– when you jump out of bed and miss the floor

– when you call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business

– when you step on the scale and it reads tilt

Well we all have bad days don’t we? We all get discouraged. But my subject today is JOY!!!!!

The news, the difficulties of life, the division in our nation have all stolen our joy

Now, I am not so naive to think that we will always be on the top of the world walking on the mountain, for there will be occasion that we will have to travel in the valley for a while. But neither am I so spiritually ignorant that am not aware that God has provided for us in times of those valley experiences.

– In this life we will have tribulation.

– In this life we will have trouble

– In this life we will have difficulty

– In this life we will have trials

– sickness

– hard times

– The storm will rise

– The winds will blow

– The waves will crash against your life

 – There will be discouragement

 – Things won’t go as planned

  – sorrow, weeping

  – financial difficulties

 – dark days

 – uncertain times

But the thing that God has provided for us in the hard times of this life is JOY!!!!

Psalm 30:5 – For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (NLT)

Turn to your neighbor and say: “Neighbor, weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning”.

Isaiah 61:3 – To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified

Turn to your other neighbor and say: “Neighbor, He’s given us joy for mourning. And he’s given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”

This joy that I have….The world didn’t give it to me…And the world can’t take it away

What is Joy?Mr. Webster says: “it is the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.”

Joy is a strong feeling of happiness; a manifestation of happiness through an outward rejoicing or excitement.

To the people who don’t know Jesus those definitions might be true. But to the Christian (someone who should know Jesus) something different applies as it relates to our JOY.

This outward rejoicing comes from an inward satisfaction that I know Jesus Christ and I am full of His Spirit part of which is JOY

Nehemiah 8:10 – Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

The nation of Israel had just read the scriptures and they were to celebrate that God was God, He was in charge and could be trusted despite their difficult life and situations

1 Pet 1:6-8  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Peter is challenging us saying…if you really believe God to be God then understand He is bigger than your trials, your struggles..these are the things that test whether you really believe He is God or not and your are His child or not….so choose to believe, not in the circumstances bt in the God who is bigger than the circumstances….choose to rejoice not in the difficulty of what you are walking through but knowing it in a little while it will be gone and you will have overcome

1 Peter 4:12,13 – Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Somebody say: I’m on a journey….it’s not always easy…but if I choose, I will always win

What brings joy? Choosing to trust God

Turn to your neighbor and say: “I’ve got:

– troubles – But I’ve got JOY!!

– problems

– sickness

– trials

– bills to pay

– difficulties

When we believe and trust in God and we are walking in the truth of God’s word… we are blessed by God. We have joy not because we have:

– a nice car

– more money

– a house

– a good job

But we rejoice because we know who has our lives in the palm of His hands and that He can be trusted more than our circumstance.

What brings joy? When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all he’s done for me because I know He loves me, sees me, and believes in me – that’s when I get joy. Not from the things of the world

– In the fiery furnace – joy (Read Daniel)

– In the lion’s den – joy, joy (read Daniel)

– In the Red sea – joy, joy, joy (read Exodus)

– In front of the walls of Jericho – joy, joy, joy, joy (read Joshua)

– In front of the biggest giants – joy (1 Samuel)

– In prison in stocks and bonds after being beaten – joy, joy, joy, joy, joy (Acts)

– In troubles – joy

– In sickness – joy, joy

– In financial difficulty – joy, joy, joy

– In problems on the job – joy, joy, joy, joy

– In the darkest hour of your life – joy, joy, joy, joy, joy

Take some time to think of all the things God has done for you, remember them especially in your troubles, sickness, financial difficulties, problems on the job, with the family

He will help you to feel and know the joy as you choose to trust him, as you choose to remember all the good things he has done for you

Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (NASB)

Don’t witness to someone with a frown.

Don’t invite someone to come here with a sourpuss look on your face.

But get some joy!!!

If you can’t get excited about:

the fact that you know him, you do have problems. You need to get some joy!!!! Joy is a choice…choosing to believe in God’s goodness and trust Him, choose to remember all the good things He has done for you…see you not only need the Joy for you but the world needs to see it too, people in our area, the people we work with, go to school with, see at the store every day….if we choose joy we go from:

– doubt to trust

– complaining to confidence

– trusting in man to God

– valley to mountain

– fear to faith

– defeat to victory

The joy of the Lord is our strength!!

You need to be excited:

– that you know him

– about what God has done for you

– about His love for you

– that He knows you and believes in you

– that what He has done for you in the past is easy for Him to do again

– that you as a part of this family, you are changing the world for others every day

When I think of the goodness of Lord and all he’s done for me

When I think of the goodness of Lord and how he set me free, blessed me, knows me, met me, believes in me…I can’t help but expect more and that builds an excitement of joy in me