Summary: We can’t always be "happy", for happiness is based on happenstance [circumstance], but we can always find joy in: The Scriptures, Salvation, Service, Sorrow, and Soulwinning. Free Powerpoint template at website.
Count It All Joy
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James makes it sound so easy. "My brethren, count it all
joy when ye fall into divers temptations" (James 1:2). the "all"
here means everything that could possibly come our way. Paul
urged the Thessalonians, "Rejoice evermore" (I Thess. 5:16). He
told the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I
say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4).
Jesus said of His disciples, " . . .And these things I speak
in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in
themselves" (John 17:13). John said, "And these things write we
unto you, that your joy may be full" (I John 1:4).
Let us notice five areas of joy.
I. JOY IN THE SCRIPTURES
There was great singing for joy when Pharaoh and his army
were drowned in the Red Sea. Hannah said, "My heart rejoiceth in
the Lord . . ." when little Samuel was born (I Sam. 2:1). Naomi
was thrilled and rejoiced when Boaz took Ruth as his wife.
Israel shouted for joy when Saul was crowned king. The streets
were filled with women singing and shouting for joy when David
killed the giant and the soldiers came home.
There was a time of great joy and celebrating when the
captured Ark of the Covenant was brought home to God’s people.
All Israel joined in the rejoicing at the dedication of the
Temple. Nehemiah led the people in a time of great joy when the
city walls were finished. Esther, Mordecai and all the Jews were
filled with joy when Haman hanged on his evil gallows. The birth
of Christ was an occasion of joy to the angels, the shepherds,
Mary and the others.
When the prodigal son came home, a joyful celebration was
held. The followers of Jesus cried, "Hosanna" or "Joy to the
Highest," when He rode into Jerusalem. There was great joy at
Pentecost. The impotent man leaped with joy after the healing of
his body. Paul and Silas rejoiced and sang praises at midnight
in the Philippian jail.
On and on the story goes. The Scriptures are filled with
incidents that brought joy to multitudes.
II. JOY IN SALVATION
When Philip brought revival to the city of Samaria, many
turned to Christ, and we read, "And there was great joy in that
city" (Acts 8:8). In the story of the prodigal son, we clearly
see the joy of salvation. Notice, first, the father’s joy. "his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on
his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). This pictures God,
"not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance" (II Pet. 3:9). The Lord rejoices when sinners come
Notice, too, that the neighbors and friends rejoiced. He
called them to come and rejoice with him.
Thirdly, see the angels of Heaven rejoicing. They really
get excited in Heaven over one repentant sinner. " . . .joy
shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over
ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Luke
Then, notice the sinner’s joy. What a relief and blessing
to get the load of sin off your back! This poor, sinful boy came
back fully expecting to be a bond servant, but ended up as a son