Summary: Joy is one of the essential marks of God’s Spirit ruling and reigning in us. Read this sermon to find out how joy will grow in us as we apply the principles taught in God's word about Joy!
Intro: Joy is not syrupy or sappy, sentimental or seasonal. Joy is not happiness, because happiness depends on what happens to you. Joy is also not the absence of sorrow. Joy is a vivid emotion of pleasure or state of being highly delighted. Where does this state or emotion come from?
Joy is one of the essential marks of God’s Spirit ruling and reigning in us. Paul tells us it is a fruit of the Spirit. Peter says it is the companion of faith. Joy is the pleasure that comes from the person and principles of Jesus ruling in our lives. Joy is a decision to live in the reality of Jesus and choose to not to be a victim. Joy is a delighted spirit in the face of any difficulty. This delight cannot be stolen but it can be starved, strangled, and stagnated.
Joy is like anything else spiritually. The more we choose to live and operate in it the more it will grow. How do we know that Jesus wants our joy to grow? John 15:11 “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” The Greek word here means to fill to the individual capacity. It literally meant to cram a net full. Jesus wants to cram you full of joy! How does this happen? How does our joy get to this point?
I. Joy grows from understanding, loving and applying God’s truth
1 John 1:4 “These things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
A) Reason to read the Bible – It will result in joy
B) Reason to meditate the Bible – It will result in joy
C) Reason to memorize the Bible – It will result in Joy
II. Joy grows from confidence in our identity as God’s children
Luke 10:20 “However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
The 70 had just returned and said that even the demons obeyed them in Jesus name. Jesus told them the true source of joy is not exercise of spiritual power or gifts but forgiveness of sin and acceptance through the blood of Jesus.
Romans 4: 7, 8 “How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How joyful is the man the Lord will never charge with sin!”
If you have received and confessed Jesus and are covered by His blood then you sin will never be charged against your account.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
What confidence. Once I am born or adopted into God’s family there is nothing that can separate me from His love! Rejoice, live in the certainty of God’s love and be cheerfully grateful! Joy is the reality of our relationship as God’s children.
III. Joy grows witnessing God’s great works
Luke 15:10 “I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
Bringing people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is God’s greatest work! Seeing God work in the life of someone freeing them from sin and growing them in the Spirit is worth rejoicing.
Look back over your walk with Jesus and see His great work in your life and rejoice!!
Psalm 94:4,5 “For You have made me rejoice, Lord, by what You have done; I will shout for joy because of the works of Your hands. How magnificent are Your works, Lord, how profound Your thoughts!”
Seeing God restore and renew every type of relationship is cause for us to rejoice.
IV. Joy grows from seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”
When our third child died
In all my wife’s health difficulties
Promise to provide for the food pantry
Promise to provide His Spirit
Promise to provide comfort
Promise to answer prayer
V. Joy grows as faith grows
Faith is the ability to take God at His word. Faith is the ability to live as if God’s promises have all been fulfilled. Faith is looking toward your future with God in spite of the evidence in your life right now. Faith is not something that is static. Faith is dynamic. Faith grows and can be stretched to continue to live by God’s word and promises not by our physical senses.