Summary: You may be struggling through a difficult situation, uncertain of the future,troubled in your spirit,or struggling with sin. Open up your heart and let God embrace you and Bring you Spiritual Joy A joy like no other
This morning I want to talk about a common experience
That comes from an uncommon source
It happens in heaven and on earth
It can happen in the womb or even on ones death bed
It is a powerful motivator
That can come in small packages or in big events
It is with us all the time
Yet it does not always show itself
Without it our lives would be unbearable
With it we can see God
I don’t always understand it
But I know it when it happens to me
What am I talking about?
I’ll never tell…..
TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - The shortest verse in the Greek New Testament
NIV says “Be joyful always;”
Joy is talked about widely in scripture
It is found in nearly every book of the Bible
Sometimes it occurs as a Noun referring to ones state of being because of an event
Sometimes its a verb referring to Joy’s action namely Rejoicing….
Joy is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Joy is referred to in context of a remembrance from the past The shekinah glory in the presence of Mosos.
Joy is referred to in the present tense as Paul expresses his Joy in the writing of the epistles
Joy is referred to in the future tense in the context of fullness of Joy when we get to heaven.
The Bible tells us that
Joy can be contrived by material pleasures and drinking, but that it is a false joy.
Joy comes through faithfulness and obedience
Joy comes Through trials
Joy comes Through sadness
CS Lewis has said of Joy it is "The serious business of Heaven"
"It is a necessity …not a luxury…
Robert Louis Stevenson said, "To miss Joy is to miss all".
Someone has said, The surest mark of a Christian is not faith, or even love, but JOY……
From all my study I have determined
That Joy is the name we give
To the response we have to certain conditions in life
I have determined That Joy was the creation of God
And it has been a part of man since God’s image was placed in Adam.
JOY IS MANIFEST IN US IN 3 WAYS
1.When good things happen (Natural Joy)
EXAMPLE - When you’re a kid waiting for Christmas, the boxes we got
2. When you have done the right thing (Moral Joy)
Most people have experienced these both natural Joy and Moral Joy
But Joy was intended by God to be a much deeper experience
When one comes to Christ as savior
God redeems this aspect of our life also
So that we are no longer limited to experiencing merely natural and moral Joy
But God ads a new dimension
We will call Spiritual Joy
3. Spiritual Joy is something the world cannot give nor understand, BECAUSE IT COMES IN THE FORM OF AN EMBRACE FROM GOD.
When we are going through dark times, He is there
When we cannot feel him, He is there
When we least expect Him, He is there
When we feel we are all alone, He is there
When we feel like giving up, he is there Yea, though I walk through the valley of death,
He is there!!
Ready to embrace us
So that we are able to experience Joy
Weather circumstances are joyful or not…For true joy is not dictated by circumstances, but by our relationship with God
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God."
 "I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.