Summary: My purpose is to show that God loves us and wants us to be filled with His joy.
The Formula for Joy
We all have moments that define our lives. For me, one of these moments began the week after I graduated high school. You see my dad has always been there for me, but I have not always been there for him. I remember that week I decided to join the Navy and leave the house. I wasn’t just moving across town, I was running away. I could see the look on my dad’s face as I was boarding the plane. There was pain. There was frustration. But I will never forget that there was also love.
It was less than a year later that I found myself in a hospital bed with a life threatening injury. I call my dad, and he took the first flight out he could, and arrived the same day. I was so happy to see him. I just wanted him to take all of my pain away. Soon my Doctor appeared and reluctantly revealed that I had a very bad infection and that it had eaten away much of my hip. I remember the exact sentence the doctor said that was to change my life forever. He said, “Luke, we are going to have to remove your hip.” I took a moment to try and comprehend what was going on. I then realized that I was only 19 and I was never going to be able to play sports again. This one infection was tearing away my youth in one quick motion. My thoughts then turned to my fiancé. Would she still want to marry a man that would now have a disability? I slowly looked at my dad, and as our eyes met, we both started to cry.
When I composed myself, I addressed my Doctor and said, No! I am not losing my hip today, I want a second opinion. I then asked the Doctor to step out. My father said, son, I love you. I was there when you were born and I will be here with you to whatever end. No one loves you as much as I do. Then he said something so profound. He said, son, sometimes you have to go through the pain of today, in order to get to the joy you will find tomorrow.
Well I followed my father’s advice and went through the surgery. But that day I did not go through just one surgery. You see, my earthly father was unable to make it to the hospital that day. The father in my story is my heavenly father. When I joined the Navy I was running away from Him, and I saw the pain in his eyes when I rejected Him. Yet when I needed Him, He came right back to me the same day. The first surgery was a physical surgery that would affect me for the rest of my life. However, the second surgery was a spiritual surgery that would have an impact my soul for all eternity. When God prunes us it hurts, but I can still hear him saying, “Son, sometimes you have to go through the pain of today, in order to get to the joy you will find tomorrow.”
The title of my sermon is The Formula for Joy. My purpose today is to show that God loves us and wants us to be filled with His joy. Turn with me to John chapter 15.
Scripture: John 15:1-11
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.