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Summary: How to find joy in the midst of difficulties

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3. DISCONTENTEDNESS & DISTRACTIONS will steal your joy.

> Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.

Always wanting more.

4. DISCIPLINARIANS will steal your joy

> Romans 6:14 : … you are not under the law, but under grace.

Some people cannot enjoy freedom in Christ, so they live with a bunch of rules & regulations & put that same stuff on other people because they can’t stand to see them happy either. Paul talked about some of those. He said life is not made up of what we eat, or drink or don’t eat & drink. The Christian life is not made up of rules and regulations.

I get so ticked when I see folks telling new believers that if they are going to be good Christians they can’t wear shorts or skirts shorter than this, or they can’t have their hair longer than this, or they can’t watch this or that, etc.

5. DISCOURAGERS will steal your joy

You often hear, “There are 2 kinds of people in the world. Those who see the glass ½ full and those who see the glass ½ empty.” I believe there is another. The discourager who complains that it isn’t bottled water. You know the ones. The people who have who have rejected joy and have decided to be victims. My friend, you and I are called to minister to those people, but if you are around them too much they can pull you down and steal your joy. I believe that’s one of the reasons Jesus often left the crowds and went off to be alone. He could only give so much before He needed to have His batteries recharged by the Father.

II. KEYS TO A JOY-FILLED LIFE

1. Connect to the source of joy

- John 15:5 You must become a Christian

2. Confess your sins – Get that barrier to joy taken care of.

3. Think on the good things

> Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Discipline your mind to look at life from a biblical perspective. To a large extent, joy flows from a certain kind of thinking.

>Psalm 16:8-9 I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices.

4. Find an encourager

> Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

5. Minister to others – Jesus came with a mission, a purpose. True joy comes only to those who have devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness. Get busy helping others.

6. Decide you will rejoice regardless –

> Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Nehemiah said, This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep… for the joy of the Lord is your strength. You find strength, after you decide and begin rejoicing.


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