Summary: This is a message of encouragement to those who are facing struggles and to realize that you can still have the joy of the LORD even when you may not be happy.
Nehemiah 8:9-10 KJV And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha (Governor), and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 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.
The Joy of the Lord, is our strength.
Hastings Bible Dictionary: rejoicing, gladness, mirth; be (and make) joyful, be (and make) glad or merry;
1. The Soul has Found what it was Searching for
Matthew 13:44 KJV Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
This was not a pot or chest of money hidden in the field, but rather a gold or silver mine, which he who found it could not get at, or work, without turning up the field, and for this purpose he bought it.
• Realized that the value of the riches that were in the field were more valuable than everything that he owned put together
• It was everything that he could ever hope to have
• HE FOUND A JOY THAT HE HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED
• NOTHING ELSE MATTERED TO HIM
This parable is clearly demonstrated in the life of the Apostle Paul:
Philippians 3:8-14 ESV Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We should consider the salvation of God
• As our only treasure, and value it above all the riches in the world.
• Search for it in the Scriptures, till we fully understand its worth and excellence.
• Deeply consider it in the depths of our souls.
• Be willing to part with all we have in order to get it.
When we do there will be a joy that will fill your soul like you never experienced before!
The Joy of the LORD is your strength!!!
2. Happiness VS. Joy
There is a difference between happiness and joy.
There are a lot of things that can make people happy.
• Nice house
• New car
• Loving and faithful spouse
Happiness describes how I feel on the outside; my human nature.
• Am I comfortable
• Do I feel content
• Do I feel safe
• Are things going ok for me…
o At home
o At work
o My health
If all these things are going well for us we are happy!
ILLUST: Mood Elevator - There is a company that encourages their employees to periodically ask their co-workers where they are on the Mood Elevator. There are several levels on the elevator and you can indicate how you are feeling by where you are on the elevator. If you have a teammate that is low on the elevator, you can encourage them and try to help them move up to a higher level.
A person’s level of happiness often sets their mood and the environment for the mood of the atmosphere.
• If Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy!
BUT JOY IS ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT
• Joy is something deep inside of you!
• Joy is not determined by what’s happening to me.
Luke 6:20-23 ESV Jesus lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 "Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven…