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Summary: Has your JOY left you?

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JOHN 15:9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

I want to talk to you this morning about happiness and joy. Isn’t that a great subject for a sermon? I thought so...I mean, after all....who isn’t seeking happiness and joy? It may be no coincidence that pastor Rhonda’s middle name is joy....I found my Joy! But let’s look and see what God says about these subjects and where we are individually with happiness and joy in our own lives.

First, I must say that there seems to be a lot of joy missing from the average christians life. I mean, really...you guys should all come up here some Sunday morning and look out amoungst you. Maybe I’ll bring a camera someday....No, you guys all look great and I’m so HAPPY that you are here. But sometimes your JOY isn’t showing....you don’t look HAPPY... I think it’s important that we distinguish these two words...happiness and joy....so that we realize that we can have joy mixed with UNhappiness at times in our walk.

Did you know that joy is not a recomendation but a command? We even sing a song found in PHILLIPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. So what’s the difference between happiness and joy. Glad you asked! (I researched it just for you!)

The word HAPPY comes from the root of the Greek word "HAP" which means literally.... chance. This is the root of several other words in our language...happen, happening, hapless, and yes, even haphazard! Happiness thus is described as a glad feeling that depends on something good happening. Happiness is an emotion that God wants us to experience, but to understand that we won’t always have that feeling. The Bible tells us that things will happen to us sometimes that will make us feel different emotions.

ECC 3 tells us in verse 1"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" it goes on to say in verse 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. As a matter of fact, Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Christ in Chapter 53:3 calls Jesus "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief". But Jesus continually talks about joy, doesn’t He?

He mentions the word happy one time....JOHN 13:17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them...and that is just after He has washed His disciples feet and given them an example. As a matter of fact, the word "happy" only appears 25 times in the Bible. The word "happiness" appears...guess how many times in KJV? NONE! Look it up! It shocked me! But the word joy? 187 times. Rejoice, or rejoiced? 240! God desires for you and I to have the joy of the Lord over the fleeting happiness (chance) of this world.

The happiness of this world is temporary. Have you ever been really happy about something only to have that emotion stolen away from you in an instant? JOHN 16:22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. So Jesus was telling His disciples just the opposite of what we were just saying....you see, sorrow, like joy, is fleeting whenever you posses joy. Here’s another one..PSALMS 30:5 tells us that sorrow may last all night...but what comes in the morning? JOY! Joy is the foundation that supports all of our emotions and makes them "healthy" emotions.. including happiness and sorrow alike.

Look at how important it is to maintain your joy...GAL 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. We all know how important it is to love, but look what’s second only to love on this list....joy! It’s even in front of peace! These are fruits of the Spirit, and joy is a very important fruit! By you fruits you shall know them...

JOHN 15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

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