Summary: Joy comes from knowing God's Word.
August 28, 2011
Text: Hebrews 10:32-29
Subject: Trusting God’s Word
Title: Holding On to the Joy You Have
Have you ever had anything stolen? Isn’t it a terrible feeling to think that something you once had and maybe even cherished was taken from you? And maybe you even know who it was but you couldn’t prove it so there is nothing you can legally do about it.
My Mom and Step-dad owned a little country store. Their house was beside the store and my folks were continually worried that someone was going to break in and rob them. I want you to understand this, there probably was sufficient reason for them to be concerned. One of the little towns near where they lived had become run down and was basically being taken over by drug users and dealers. Here is what happened one night with them. It was in the fall of the year when, in the middle of the night the alarm went off in the house, indicating that someone was in the store. My Mom and Step-dad went around to the front of the store and found a window that had been broken. That was the point of entry. He looked in the window and saw three young men. And they thought they recognized one of the boys. At that point Mom went to the house and called the Sheriff. During the time that Mom was inside two of the boys saw my step-dad with his .410 shotgun and went out the back window and got away. The third boy was taking the cash register drawer when my step-dad told him to stop or he would shoot. With that the boy dropped the drawer, ran to the back of the store and dove out the same window the other boys escaped from. My step –dad ran around the outside to the back of the store and saw the last boy running across the yard when he fired a shot at his back. I will say this much; it’s a good thing it was in the fall of the year and that boy was wearing insulated coveralls because when the shot hit him at about 35 yards out – well, let me say this much – it got his attention. Later my step-dad would laugh about it saying that after he shot that boy’s feet found another gear. The deputy sheriff was pulling up into the driveway about the time all this was going on, but those three boys were never caught. Even though they thought they knew who one of the boys was, there was never enough proof to do anything about it. My brother Ray told me the other day that he had run into someone who worked with the Troy police department about that time and that the sheriff’s department knew who it was because one of the boys had to have some .410 shot pulled from his backside.
Now I told you that story for a purpose. We have an enemy who the bible says in John 10:10 comes only to steal, kill and destroy… his name is satan. We know who our enemy is and what he wants to do. However, unlike my Mom and step-dad, who knew who tried to rob them, and didn’t have the authority to do any more than what they had done, we have the authority, as blood bought believers, to stand against the devil to keep him from taking what is legally ours.
I want to show you today that you can stop satan from stealing your joy, and if he can’t steal your joy, he can’t get anything else.
Read Hebrews 10:32-39
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church…
I. SATAN DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE WORD. Look at verse 32. 32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. The phrase “received the light” in the NIV makes it sound like it is talking about after you were saved you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering… That is true. Opposition does come after you are saved, but not because you are saved. You know, satan doesn’t like it when you get saved. He’ll try to trick people into giving up and going back to their old lives – and sometimes he succeeds. But what he really hates is people who get into the word. Go back to that phrase “received the light”. The Greek word used here is photizo and it means “to shed rays; to shine; to enlighten or illuminate”. It is talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer in illuminating God’s Word to you in order to bring a deeper understanding of the word. And that is what satan wants. As soon as you begin to get into the word, that is when real opposition will come. Turn over to Mark chapter 4. In explaining the parable of the sower Jesus says, 14The farmer sows the word. 15Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. The NKJV says that he comes “immediately”. So when you first begin to have the Word opened up to you, why does satan want to come and steal it away? Mark 4, 16Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. He doesn’t want us to have the joy that a life in the word bring because it also brings authority and victory and healing and deliverance and power… that is why when you are not rooted in the word he brings “suffering” that is mentioned in Hebrews 10:32 and, 17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Why doesn’t satan want you to have the word? Because he knows what Romans 1:16 says, I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God… there is power in the good news. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. When I first began to understand what God’s word says about our authority and about all His promises that are available to us I was working in a subdivision in St. Peters, MO. Time after time, while working in the trade satan tried to bring injury or hardship to discourage me or even put me out of commission. I was still pretty new in the word when it comes to having faith to believe and receive God’s promises, but over and over I was able to hold onto God’s promise for His protection and good health. That’s when your enemy will attack the hardest. It was then that I had the very first attack on my back. I was out of work for two weeks waiting for it to heal enough to return to work. As soon as I came back there was a young man who attended a church (I’m not saying he was a Christian, just that he attended church) whose very first conversation with me after coming back started like this, “So if God heals like you claim then why do you have back problems?” The author of Hebrews asks us to remember those times when we were new in the Lord and new in the word. There was suffering; you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution and you stood by others who were treated the same. When was that? When we were new! Next, I want you to look at verse 34; You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. Who did that? Christians who were both new in the Lord and new to the Word! That sounds really spiritual doesn’t it? Well, the enemy can take everything and it’s OK cause I’ve got a whole lot better stuff waiting for me in heaven. Oh you pitiful soul. The enemy comes but to steal, kill and destroy… and you are just going to let him have it all? That would be like Larry Harlan sitting in his favorite chair watching the Gaithers on TV and a guy walks into his house, walks over to his gun safe and begins to drill through the lick and take all Larry’s guns. Meanwhile Larry just sits there and watches and after he is gone Larry thinks, “Boy, I wish I had my guns. One of these days I’ll have guns… “ No, those guns that you let him walk out with are still yours. You have your guns right now. They are yours. That is what happens to us in regard to God’s promises. Well, Praise God, I’m gonna get my complete healing in the sweet by and by… According to scripture, you already have your healing. “By His stripes you are healed…” We have just let our enemy rob us blind while we sit by and watch and do nothing about it. I’m pretty sure that if Larry saw anybody headed for his gun safe like that he wouldn’t just sit idly by and let him steal all his possessions. They are too valuable. So when we see that your enemy is attempting to steal you joy by stealing your promises it is time to step us and confront him. “excuse me, but in the name of Jesus that’s all the farther you going. You aren’t getting my family, my health, my finances, my emotions, my victory – one of it. I going to hold on to it until Jesus comes. Turn over to John 15. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. In this context the bearing of much fruit is connected with the faith to allow the Word of God to live in you by faith, then ask whatever you wish, and then see it done. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Now look at verse 11, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. When God’s word is abiding in you it always produce joy. So if satan comes to steal the word what else is he trying to steal? Your joy! Because if you don’t have your joy you don’t have your strength. Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”