Summary: Joy in Believing; Joy in Hearing; Joy in Obeying; Joy in Abiding - these are the keys to knowing the Joy of the Lord in our lives.
THE JOY OF THE CHRISTIAN
1. JOY IN BELIEVING
I Peter 1:8 & 9 Jesus Christ . . . 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. [NLT]
Paul speaks of the present inexpressible joy of the Christian, which will be complete when we experience the fullness of our salvation at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. JOY IN HEARING
John 17.13 . . . I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. [NIV]
We can only know the real joy of the Christ life within us if we hear His words spoken to us.
3. JOY IN OBEYING
John 13:17 You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing. [NLT]
Hearing the words will bring us joy, as we recognise the voice of our Lord speaking to us, but we only reach the full path of blessing when we put the words into action in our lives.
4. JOY IN ABIDING
John 15:11 I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! [NLT]
What had Jesus spoken about? The truths about the ‘Abiding Life’ – this is the source of the joy.
We are promised something wonderful by the One who never breaks a promise, but joy is only realised when we live ‘in Christ’ – the abiding life.
Abiding means = to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):— abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for).
If we wonder where our joy has gone, it could be that we have stepped ‘outside’ the experience of being ‘in Christ’.