Summary: Joy is needed to continue any minisrty.
Today, we are pondering -- HOW IMPORTANT JOY IS TO THE CHRISTIAN WALK? We also ponder -- HOW DO WE LOSE OUR JOY? Then we must consider, WHAT CAN I DO TO GET MY JOY BACK? And we ponder: --- HOW CAN I LEARN TO KEEP THE JOY OF THE LORD?
1. LIFE HAS A WAY OF STEALING OUR JOY!
I am told the average baby is born with his hands opened and outstretched, at death the average adult has his hands closed in a fist? Why? What has happened in life that man closes his hands in a fist?
A recent study shows that the average child laughs over 400 times a day out loud. The study suggest, starting at 12, there is a decline in how many times one laughs a day. By adulthood the average American laughs on the average of 15 times a day? I ponder, WHY? Why do we lose our laugh? What happens from 400 to 15?
Does a person quit laughing because they get old? Or does a person get old because they quit laughing?
2. ALL WE NEED TO DO TO LAUGH IS CHANGE.
All most of us need to do to be happy is to change our attitude, mindset, and change our words. If you want things differently, then you must be committed to change. Many times, a baby cries, and all it needs is a diaper change -- get rid of the dirt. We seem to be specialist at counting what is wrong and counting the things we do not have. This attitude is killing us. We must learn to appreciate life and count our blessings.
We will forever stay unhappy and lack joy by blaming other people for your lost joy. Change the dirty diaper, see how much better this feels? All we have to do to return to JOY is make a change.
Joy and laughter are the shock absorbers in daily life. Laughter and Joy will ease the effect/affect of the daily blows, pains, disappointments that will come our way. Poor is the man that loses his ability to laugh.
3. SOME GENERAL STATEMENTS ABOUT LOSING OUR JOY?
A. Humor is the prelude to faith, and laughter is a good beginning of prayer.
B. Faith can laugh, when the promise is just a promise, before the miracle.
C. The person that loses their ability to laugh is very poor, no matter what their income.
D. Throw the stone, kill the giant, --- then learn to laugh!
E. In Faith, we must laugh, we must sing, for we are blest in everything.
F. Discipline is learning to laugh before you are happy, if you don’t, fear will grip your heart, and you die before you learn to laugh.
G. Every day you face two choices, laugh or cry. Anybody can be a crybaby?
H. Ministry continues when you continue to laugh. Find common ground and laugh.
I. For every minute you are angry, you will lose 60 seconds of JOY!
J. Show me what makes you laugh or cry, and I will be able to tell you something about your character.
K. Strict rules and excessive punishment will not make better homes. Happy laughter and happy voices will do
more to stop family problems, and thus correct the trouble in our families.
L. Laughter is a cheap tranquilizer, with no bad side effects.
4. LEARN HOW TO TELL TIME.
Ecc. 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh: a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
I think in a healthy prayer life, one should give time to laugh, and a time to dance before the Lord. We often hear, I don’t feel like it? Of course, we don’t feel like it, it is an act of FAITH, a step of FAITH and complete TRUST.
5. NOT ALL LAUGHTER IS OF FAITH! THE LAUGH OF FAITH IS CONTAGIOUS!
In Genesis 18, God spoke with Abraham about the birth of a son. Sarah heard through the wall of the tent and laughed at the PROMISE.
Sarah, when approached about the laugh of doubt, denied that she had laughed.
But there is a big difference in the laugh of doubt and the laugh of faith. For Genesis 21:6 --- And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with us.
Can you imagine the laughter from Sarah’s heart when she felt her son leap in her womb? Can you imagine the laughter in Sarah’s heart when Abraham went to Walmart to buy diapers for HER SON, the SON OF PROMISE. Learn to laugh.
6. GOD CAN CHANGE THE BITTERNESS AND TEARS INTO JOY AND LAUGHTER!
Life is a test, bad things happen to good people, but we must know, that no matter how dark the night, joy comes in the morning. As the sun disappears in the West, it may be gone from our visual field, but it is not gone. So in times of testing, God is building people.