Summary: This kind of Joy is really a "cheerful, calm, delight, and Christians should experience this joy more than any other people.
Well, we still have the Joy book, Philippians, fairly fresh in our minds from this winter. And as we talk about Joy as a fruit of the spirit we are talking not so much about jumping up and down for joy like when you win the lottery, though it might be like that I suppose. Sometimes I think people who are always bouncing around seeming ridiculously happy may actually be covering up something that is not true joy.
The direct translation is “cheerful calm delight”. But this joy is usually more like a contentment, or a state of intense gratitude, a constant inner smile regardless of what is going on around you, but it’s also noticeable by others. Sometimes we rejoice in an energetic way, other times we rejoice in a calmer way.
I have chosen watermelon to represent joy because it usually reminds us of summer and when you eat a slice of watermelon you are usually left with the rind in the shape of a smile. So let’s look at two things about this joy today. First we see:
I. The Motivation for Joy starting with:
A. The Salvation of Our Souls
Every single human being ever born since Adam and Eve is destined for death and eternal separation from God. Let’s let that sink in for minute. Until you claim Christ as Saviour and Lord, believe in Him and entrust your life to Him, you are a dead man walking.
Now it’s easy to say, “well I better make the most of life while I have it then”, and that is true, but the methods you choose have eternal consequences. Life is short but our souls are eternal and will reside somewhere after the death of this body. According to the Bible there are two choices, heaven or hell. Those people who choose to get every drop out of life, by doing whatever they desire, and fail to accept Jesus’ salvation might have a great time in this millisecond of eternity life, but forever isn’t going to be very pleasant.
So for the believing Christian the greatest thing we have, and will ever have to rejoice in, is the salvation our souls. Jesus is promising eternal communion with God in the Kingdom of Heaven after we die. How can we not rejoice in that when we think of the alternative?
In Luke 10:20 Jesus tells the 72 disciples that went out and performed miracles, not to rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, rejoice that your names are written in heaven, that you are saved.
1 Peter 1:3-9 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.