Summary: A topical sermon on joy based loosely on 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (Outline from Mark Copeland at:


I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,


Down in my heart!


Down in my heart!

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,

Down in my heart to stay.

And I'm so happy,

So very happy,

I've got the love of Jesus in my heart,

Down in my heart,

And I'm so happy,

So very happy,

I've got the love of Jesus in my heart.


In Greek Bible, this is shortest verse, even shorter than John 11:35. This command is very simple, not needing much explanation. Easy to understand but difficult to live

We have said that joy is something that we are filled with by God but it is also something that we must cultivate or work at in our lives. It is like love. The love of God fills us when we become Christians but we must work at sharing that love back to God and then with others.

In way of review and to add more thoughts let’s talk about the joy that we are filled with:

1. This joy comes from God the Father

“You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.” Psalms 4:7, NIV.

God did something in our hearts that is more than natural joy that we received when all the crops have come in, and we had all that we wanted to eat and all we wanted to drink and all the resources and money that we need. God did something in our hearts way more than that.

2. This joy comes through Jesus Christ. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11, NIV.

3. This joy comes from God, through Jesus Christ, motivated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the energizer of this kind of joy. “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, NIV. From God as source, through Christ as mediator, by the Holy Spirit as energizer. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, ...” Galatians 5:22, NIV.

This is all talking about how God fills us with joy. Since God fills us we don’t have to do anything to produce joy in our lives. Not so. This is where this verse comes in. We need to walk with the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit, work with the HS to produce this joy.

Thesis: To rejoice in the Lord always, follow these guidelines:

For instances:

Read and feed upon the Word of God daily

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16, NIV. When the Bible becomes our joy and heart’s delight, we will want to read it. We will want to hear it preached. We will want to remember it and think about it all the time, every day.

II. Meditate upon the teachings of Christ and His apostles

In our Lord's final time with His disciples, John 13 to 17, He mentions joy and full joy eight times. Never were they more exhilarated than to be with Him and to follow along and have the promise that they would reign with Him in the Kingdom. And so when Jesus started to talk about His death and it began to sink into the disciples’ minds that it was near. Jesus had been telling them, "I'm leaving, I'm leaving," never was the fear greater, never was the anxiety greater, never was the sense of dread greater, never was there a time in their experience with Him when they would have a more validated reason to be sorrowful then that and it is precisely that moment in the Upper Room the night of His betrayal that He reminds them repeatedly of joy, that they are to be joyful.

And in that wonderful Philippian epistle some form of the word joy is mentioned 16 X. What makes that, I suppose, remarkable is that that was written as one of Paul's prison epistles. It was written while he was a prisoner, while he was suffering the direst of conditions and persecution and hostility from other Christian evangelists who were accusing him of iniquity and sin. His reputation was being attacked and sullied by those who also named the name of Christ. And in the midst of that sort of personal persecution from other believers, as well as the hostility and suffering at the hands of the Romans, he mentions joy 16 X.

Paul says in “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24, NIV. He obeyed this command and his sufferings were great. We read the whole epistle of 2 Corinthians, this long list of things that he suffered, shipwrecks and beatings and whippings and stonings and in all of it, he says, in all my sufferings I rejoice.

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