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Summary: Few people today are experiencing the fullness of joy that Jesus talked about 2000 years ago, have you ever wondered why? Could it be that many have forgotten some of the basic guidelines that the scripture offers as a prescription for fullness of joy

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Jesus said, "I have told you to obey my Father’s commands so that your joy may be full." (John 15:10,11)

Few people today are experiencing the fullness of joy that Jesus talked about 2000 years ago, have you ever wondered why?

Could it be that many have forgotten some of the basic guidelines that the scripture offers as a prescription for fullness of joy.

David wrote, "In your presence is fullness of joy and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psa. 16:9-11)

Illustration: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of "the greatest justice since John Marshall." At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers."

Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13.

1. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit; it cannot be manufactured by human effort. Paul wrote, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy…(Gal 5:22,23)

Illustration: We must remember that there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness only occurs 26 times in the Bible and usually refers to a transitory emotional experience. However, joy is an abiding sense of exuberance that springs up from the soul occuring 323 times throughout the scripture. Joy can be found in every situation regardless of our outward circumstances.

2. Jesus wrote, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Do not think that life will be bed of roses or that you are exempt from trials.

Illustration: When he learned that he had lost his wife and children in a tragic ocean liner sinking, the famous writer wrote, "Oh, joy that seekest me through pain. I dare not close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain and feel the promise is not vain. That morn, shall tearless be." We can experience the joy of the Lord regardless of the adversity, difficulty or setbacks we may experience.

3. Remember the old song, "Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No there is a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me. His commandments are not a burden, for whoever believes and obeys will not experience an overwhelming load. ( I John 5)

Quote: Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C.S. Lewis.

Song: Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Oh glorious victory that overcomes the world.

We can be joyful knowing we are overcoming, overpowering and overwhelming the opposition with God’s almighty power. That is why we can rejoice knowing that we rejoice in the Lord and in the power of His might. We take up the shield of faith so that we can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (I John 5:4,5; Eph. 6:10-18)

4. David wrote, In the Psalms "I WILL SING FOR JOY AT THE WORKS OF THE HANDS HOW GREAT ARE THY WORKS O LORD FOR YOU HAVE MADE ME GLAD BY WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.

Illustration: Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their "misery dinner." It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm’s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that "the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week." Her courageous act rallied the family.

Christopher News Notes, August, 1993.

5. David wrote after he sinned, in Psa. 51:12 RESTORE TO ME THE JOY OF MY SALVATION and GRANT ME A WILLING SPIRIT. THEN I WILL TEACH TRANSGRESSORS YOUR WAYS AND SINNERS WILL TURN BACK TO YOU.

6. Remember that we are to experience the joy on earth as it is in heaven. IN Luke we learn, "THERE IS MORE JOY IN HEAVEN OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS THAN OVER Many WHO DO NOT NEED TO REPENT.

7. Sometimes the reason why we have not experienced joy is our failure to ask God for His deliverance and help. Jesus said, In John 16:24 - UNTIL NOW YOU HAVE NOT ASKED ANYTHING IN MY NAME. AKS AND YOU WILL RECEIVE AND YOUR JOY WILL BE COMPLETE.

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