Summary: Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them.” Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It should be manifested in the life of the believer
Jumping With Joy
Introduction: During a Texas revival meeting led by Mordecai Ham, a man in the congregation was overcome by the love and mercy of God. He had killed four men and never dreamed God could care for him. He was so touched by the gospel that he stood up during that service in 1910 and shouted, Saved! Saved! Saved! Jack Scofield, the musician for the revival, was so moved by the man’s testimony that he used those words to write that popular hymn the next afternoon. Remember the words of that hymn? “Saved by His power divine, saved to new heights sublime, life now is sweet, and my ‘joy’ is complete for I’m saved, saved, saved.”
Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them.” Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It should be manifested in the life of the believer. I want to build this message on three words.
This joy is real. Don’t confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is mentioned 26 times in the scriptures. Joy is referenced 330 times. Happiness is by chance, joy is a choice. Happiness comes by circumstances, joy comes from Christ. You can have joy in spite of circumstance, difficulties or problems. What makes this joy real?
A. His Presence. Joy is the evidence of God’s presence. It means gladness or well-off. Joy comes as a result of God’s grace. As a matter of fact, joy and grace come from the same root word. Where there is no grace there is no joy.
B. Our Perspective. Joy is not only a product of the Spirit, it also, comes from the perspective of the saint. Christianity is not a life without problems. God may not change your problems by He can change your perspective. Study closely James 1:2-3. People who have problems can also have joy. You can have joy in the midst of your financial, physical and relational problems. See Rom. 8:28. We can have joy when we know God is in control. He has a purpose for that ordeal you are going through. See I Pet. 4:12-14; Rom. 5:1-11; Heb. 12:2.
This joy should give us a thrill. Sadly speaking, one could go into many of our churches and film “Grumpy Old Men.” Many who say they love Jesus carry with them a sour, surly disposition. There are several ways the Bible expresses joy:
A. Bright and Shining. See I Sam. 18:6. There is an aura about them.
B. Leaping and Jumping. See Acts 3:8.
D. Running around in circles. Their behavior is a little abnormal. See John 15:8-11. Joy has a way of attracting. Malcolm Muggeridge was a Marxist before he found Christ. As a journalist he went to Russia to do a study on the Communist Party and the dying of religion in that Atheistic Empire. On one Easter morning he went to a Russian service. As he looked into the faces of the gathered believers, he realized Communism was wrong and Christianity was right. He said it was the reality of their joy that tipped the scales of his soul toward Christ. The reality of Christian joy is most compelling!
Concerning this joy, there are those who would steal it. What steals our joy?
I. Sin. See Psalm 51:12.
II. Strife. See Phil. 4:2-3. God’s greatest joy is when He sees His children loving one another and rejoicing. His greatest sadness is when we fight and the joy is gone.
III. Situations. Unpleasant trials.
IV. Selfishness. See James 3:16, 4:1-2
V. Sourness. See Heb. 12:15.
VI. Satan. He is a thief.
VII. Scared. See Prov. 12:25. These people are defensive, distant and demanding.
Conclusion: Where does a person find joy? Possibly the best explanation comes from an acrostic using J.O.Y. The J represents Jesus, the Y stands for You, and the O signifies Zero, or nothing. Joy is found when “nothing” comes between Jesus and you. It’s a great Biblical formula. Every Christian should read Rom. 15:13; Matt. 25:21-23. Every lost person should be reminded of Luke 15:10; I Pet. 1:8.