Summary: ❶ Restricting Joy ❷ Realizing Joy ❸ Receiving Joy ❹ Releasing Joy

God had made them rejoice with great joy . . . , so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off. —Nehemiah 12:43

I attended a Men’s conference at Folsom Stadium Boulder, Colorado in 1993. At the conclusion of the conference a single candle was lite and the light was passed to 50,000 men and they began to sing "All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name." The volume of the singing was incredible in the football stadium, and I’ve often wondered how it sounded outside. Could people hear it as they walked through a nearby park, sat on their patios, or drove by in cars? What impression did it leave with them?

Dennis Wholey, author of Are You Happy" reports that according to expert opinion, perhaps only 20 percent of Americans are happy

❶ Restricting Joy

- Joy is an attitude, not a condition.

- Joy is a choice.

- Joy should not be confused with happiness.

- It is not centered on physical relationships, achievements or possessions

- Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, or in circumstances

- Martha - Lk. 10:38-42

- The Joy Restrictors

1. Criticism (People)

- Ever notice that when your cup of JOY is full, somebody always jogs your elbow?

2. Worry - “Things that may never happened!”

3. Fear. - "dreadful uneasiness over danger, evil, or pain." (And it magnifies our problems.)

4. Stress - intense strain over a situation we can’t change or control

- Going nonstop until you drop

- What was the joy that Jesus had?

- His joy was self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do—

- Heb 12:2 .". . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . ."

- Ps 40:8 "I delight to do Your will, O my God . . ."

❷ Realizing Joy

1. It does not come from me

Psalm 16:11KJV

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

2. It is the assurance of His Word

Psalm 119:111KJV

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

3. To be believed & lived out

Jeremiah 15:16KJV

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

❸ Receiving Joy

Confessing our sin & excepting His forgiveness

Confident in the privilege that we are Sons, Kings, Priests

Confirming Death has been conquered

Conforming to His preparation of our eternal home

❹ Releasing Joy

1. Fear not—He is with you

Isaiah 41:10KJV

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Revelation 1:17KJV

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

2. Fret not—He loves you

Psalm 127:2KJV

2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

3. Forget not—He remembers you

2 Chronicles 15:2KJV

..... The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

4. Forsake not—He teaches you

Proverbs 4:2KJV

For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

5. Faint not—He strengthens you

2 Corinthians 4:16KJV

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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