Summary: A message encouraging Christians to live lives characterized by joy rather than grumpiness.
We all like being around people who are generally upbeat, don’t we?
I mean, if you had your choice of being with someone who had a smile or someone who looked like he was weaned on sour lemons, who would you most likely pick?
I’d pick the smiley guy almost every time, and here’s why.
One thing I have never been able to understand is the notion of a grumpy Christian.
Grumpy Christian. To me that seems like an oxymoron on the same level as “jumbo shrimp,” or “plastic glass,” or “congressional budget cuts.”
It’s genuinely hard for me to understand how someone who claims to be walking with God could be grumpy for any length of time.
Now let me be quick to say that I am not talking about sadness. I am not talking about genuine SORROW.
And I am not talking about some fake happiness. I would never suggest we walk around with a plastic smile on our face pretending that everything is okay all the time.
Things happen, things go wrong, and we are faced with heartache and hurt.
I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about a basic attitude – how we carry ourselves.
I want to focus on the everyday attitude we carry with us.
Let me ask you a question. How would others characterize your attitude…your “bearing,” if you will?
Do they see you living a life of joy, peace, and rest, or do they see someone who looks like they have no hope for today, much less for eternity?
Which attitude do you think will be more likely to attract someone to the gospel?
Think about it – why would anyone want to be a Christian if the ones he sees are always sullen and grumpy?
Can you imagine someone with a perpetually long face trying to tell someone the “Good News?”
“What’s so good about it? The prospect of being as cheerful and excited as you? No thanks!”
My purpose today is to encourage you to be the type of person other people point to when they are discussing people they like being around.
We are going to spend our time on three areas, and the first one is…
I. The Joy.
By joy, I don’t mean “happiness”, because happiness is dependent on circumstances.
Heartburn from eating a pizza too fast can make you unhappy, right?
Joy is an inward attitude that has God as its OBJECT and its SOURCE.
It’s much deeper than happiness, and can present even in the midst of pain.
Why? Because the focus of joy is not the pain or the circumstance, but God.
Let’s take a look at three areas of joy.
A. Joy in the Lord.
First, as I just mentioned, joy has God as its object and its source.
If you can focus on Him, then it is easy to have joy in Him.
Listen to Psalm 28:7-
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
Just taking the time to think of all He has done for you in securing your salvation and in offering you a full and abundant life will go a long way to experiencing that joy.
Take some time to look over His wonderful promises in Scripture given so that you and I who don’t deserve it can live lives in close relationship with Him.
He has gone above and beyond the call of duty, so to speak, to give you eternal life in heaven and a full life here on earth.
Rejoice! Not only has He given you breath for today, we’re told in Ephesians that He has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ!
He has promised to be active in your life at all times. The great, awesome, mighty God of all creation is also all-loving.
Join with King David in allowing your heart to leap for joy and give thanks to Him.
There is joy in the Lord.
Next we look at…
B. Joy in our salvation.
This is hard to explain unless you have experienced it.
When I was a freshman down at SDSU, I was visiting my grandparents outside Watertown for Christmas.
One of my uncles and I had spent hours the night before discussing the fact that I had given my life to Christ a couple months before that.
But one night my grandmother was playing some Christmas music on the record player.
For you younger folks, a record was this big round piece of black vinyl that had these grooves in it that contained the music.
Anyway, the music was playing, and I had a sense of joy and wonder that I had never experience about anything prior to that.