Summary: IN the presence of the lord is fullness of joy and the joy of the lord is our strength
Check Your Joy
Have you ever drug yourself around in defeat saying things like: I just don’t understand it; I just can’t figure it out?
Well, I have.
We believe the Bible. We believe God is a healer. We believe Jesus delivered us from the curse of sin, but yet victory has not manifested, and we feel like we are growing weaker.
We know it’s not God’s fault, so we begin to check our lives to see where we have missed it.
We do that; don’t we?
Haggai 1:5. Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
Well listen, the Lord has spoke something in my heart and I was surprised.
You know when we feel defeated as Christians; 1. We will check our lives for sin, 2. for unforgiveness, 3. we will check the words of our mouth. But there is a place most of us forget to check; our joy.
How is your joy?
Our text begins in Colossians 1:11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
Strengthened with what? Joyfulness!
We know that Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that The Joy of the Lord is our strength.
I don’t think we realize how literally true this verse is.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) A spiritual force against which there is no law.
There is no spiritual law that works against your joy, only a thief who tries to steal it in order to steal your strength.
Satan is out to steal your joy and cause you to be weak so you will faint in the day of adversity.
Before we go any deeper we need to make it clear that joy and happiness are not the same thing.
Being happy is temporal and depends on the condition of your flesh. I can give you a candy bar and make you happy, but when the candy bar is gone the happiness is gone.
Joy is based on the condition of your heart (spirit). John 15:11.
I’ve seen joy on the face of a dying man. Oh, you need strength to die.
The joy of the Lord is what keeps you strong in time of trouble. It is what Paul and Silas had at midnight. Paul and Silas didn’t break out in holy laughter, they began to praise God.
Psalms 30:5. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
I Samuel chapter 30. David and his men wept but then they arose and recovered what was lost.
In David’s prayer of repentence in Psalms 51 he asked God to (1) clean his heart, (2) renew a a right spirit, (3) restore the joy.
When joy is gone weakness comes.
I recently realized that you can’t live by faith without joy, because it takes strength to live by faith; to fight the good fight of faith.
We live in a natural world today that is like a flooded river flowing toward death. The natural pull is always toward the negative.
Maybe I can show you what I mean this way.
When we leave things unattended and don’t work against the negative flow, things get worse.
A garden left unattended will die for water or the weeds will choke it out.
A house left unattended will fall apart and go to ruin. It will rot and fall apart.
All we have to do to lose ground spiritually and to lose joy and strength is nothing.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.