Summary: One of our greatest gifts as a believer is joy, The Joy of the Lord produces a strength in us that will lift us above the storms of life, and enable us to walk on top of the troubled waters.
Ne 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for [this] day [is] holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
One of the saddest things in the body of Christ today is the anemic spiritual lives of many of Gods people.
We find in the scriptures that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
And yet we find so many within the church who are living anemic lives, (There is no joy in their lives. They have no song, no spring in their step, no enthusiasm, no anticipation of better things.
( Can you be saved from sin and yet have no Joy?)
Yes. because joy is not automatic
We know: Joy is not circumstancial- Based on external circumstances.
But what we may not be aware of is: Joy is Conditional
(Meaning the Joy of the Lord comes to us through channels that he has established)
Paul the Apostle said we are helpers of your Joy.
2 Cor1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Because the Joy of the Lord produces inner strength. A joyful church is a healthy church and a healthy church is a strong church.
#1 You must choose joy.
#2 You must pursue Joy = (seek out the avenues through which God has promised joy would come.
Joy is not merely an experience, It is an inward disposition of the heart, that you must pursue, and maintain.
How can I experience the Joy of the Lord in my life?
Here are some of the avenues that God has chosen to use to bring joy into our lives?
#1 The Joy that comes from making Gods word personal.
Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
#2 The Joy of whole hearted service.
1 Chro 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
#3 The joy of faithful service.
Matt 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
#4 The Joy of knowing that your heart is right with God
Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
#5 The Joy of winning souls
Psalms 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
#6 The joy of answered prayers
John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
#7 The Joy of the presence of the Lord
Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
#8 The Joy of knowing that your spiritual children are walking in the truth
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
These are all avenues through which God has chosen to to use to cause his joy to fill our lives.
But it must be understood that Joy cannot be found outside of the Spirit of God.
Ro 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Galatians tells us that Joy is a product or fruit of the spirit, it is born in the human spirit through fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
If we are not experiencing the Joy of the Lord the first things we need to ask ourselves is
#1 Are we spending time daily in the presence of the Lord?
#2 Do we recognize and appreciate and cultivate our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
It’s not by might nor by power but by my Spirit sayeth the Lord of Hosts.
#4 Have we allowed some iniquity or transgression to take root in our hearts?
David said: He anoints my head with oil and my cup runneth over.
This is normal life of the believer, If the cup is not overflowing then something has been allowed to enter in that has quenched the Spirit or grieved the spirit.
The way to restoration of the Joy of the Lord is the simple proven pathway called repentance.