Summary: As Christians we should be joyful because of who and what God has done for us.
Intro: How many of you remember the “Got Milk” commercials? The original one showed this guy who was obsessed with Alexander Hamilton. The commercial showed his whole house and it had pictures and statues and all sorts of paraphernalia every where regarding Hamilton. He is listening to the radio while making a peanut butter sandwich and there is a trivia question that the station comes up with and then they call people at random to see if they can answer the question. If they get the question right they win $10,000.00. Well he stuffs part of the sandwich in his mouth and then hears the trivia question which is who shot Alexander Hamilton. Well he knows that it is Aaron Burr. Then the phone rings and it’s the radio station calling. He answers the phone mumbling because he has a mouthful of dry sticky peanut butter. They ask him the trivia question and he tries to answer and all he can do is mumble. He tries again and again to answer the question but they can’t understand him because of the sandwich in his mouth that he can’t swallow because its too dry. He looks over and sees a milk carton and tries to pour some milk in the glass so he can drink and answer the question. There is only a trickle of milk in the container. Hardly enough to wash the sandwich down. The man cries out in frustration and the words and a voice over come through the screen saying “Got Milk”.
. Many in our world today both Christian and non Christian are much like the man in the commercial. Living in frustration because there is something missing in their lives. Something they need.
. What they need is Joy.
. Paul speaks of joy as one of the fruits of the Spirit in our scripture this morning.
. Paul is writing to the church in Galatia here in chapter 5 and he is talking to them about living life in the Spirit or in other words a life that allows the Holy Spirit to empower us as Christians to refuse to follow our sinful desires .
. That’s the nature of Mankind.
. Paul writes that only the Holy Spirit can empower us to live a life that produces “fruit” as he calls it.
. Lets read our scripture: Galatians 5:22; But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: jlove, joy, kpeace, patience, kindness, agoodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, and self-control…
. Now some folks have a problem understanding just what joy is. Let me give you an example.
. When missionaries in the northern part of Alaska, where the Eskimos are, were trying to get the Bible translated, they had some difficulty. When you go to translate the Bible in any culture, there’s a difficulty in translating some words because cultures and languages don’t always have the same words. There was no word in the Eskimo language for joy. And as they were trying to translate joy, biblically, they drew from experience. And as they watched, they saw that the happiest, the most joyful moments in those Eskimo villages were in the evening when they fed their sled dogs. They’d go out, and the dogs would yelp and wag their tails and get all excited. And so, out of that experience, they pulled the word for joy: "wagging their tails." When you translate the passage where it says, "The disciples, after the resurrection, saw Jesus and they were full of joy," for the Eskimos, it would read, "When the disciples saw Jesus, they wagged their tails." Full of joy.
. If you ever go to this part of Alaska and you are a Christian, I guess you will need to walk around wagging your tail.
. Notice I didn’t say happiness. There is a difference between happiness and joy.
. You see happiness is dependent on circumstances.
. A person can be happy because something happened in their life or the circumstances in their life such as a good job or family and children are going well right now. This can bring happiness.
. I submit to you this morning that we can all be happy at times in our life due to circumstances even if we are not a Christian this morning.
. You see: Happiness is external. Joy is internal.
Happiness is based on chance. Joy is based on choice.
Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is based on Christ.
.In God’s word, one of the first things apparent to me is that God wants his people to be joyful. In fact, I think one of the great mysteries in life is that as you look at the Christian community, you see a lack of joy. I just scratch my head. We ought to be the most joyful people in the world. We have hope. We have Jesus. This is an old saying but it’s true. Every day is just another day in eternity for us. We are guaranteed this by our faith in Jesus Christ.