Summary: A call to be joyful in our walk with the Lord
The Joyful Christian
Introduction: Several years ago, the #1 song on the pop charts was titled “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. It had a snappy, tropical sort of beat, and left people with the feeling that everything was okay. It left them feeling relaxed and good about themselves and their situation.
From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God’s intent was for us to be happy. He has done everything possible to allow our happiness. Let’s take a few moments and see what the Holy Spirit inspired the Psalmist to write on the subject.
I’m here to tell you today that everything is okay. I am giving you permission to be happy. I feel confident in giving this permission to you because God says it’s okay in the text we just read. God never leaves anything half done, so He also tells us how to achieve this happiness. We’ll look at what He says, but for now, just relax, sit back, and don’t worry, be happy.
I. Be joyful always.
A. God created us to be happy All our love to God is in response to his love for us; it never starts on our side.
B. Sin separates us from God
1. Before I came to Christ, my joy was in alcohol and worldly pleasures, 2. Since I have come to Christ, He is the source of my joy
3. Since He will never leave me, my joy will never leave me.
C. Happiness is a choice we make every day.
1. Story about Michael, the guy you love to hate.
2. Anger is a choice as well - Story about angry husband/wife and the telephone
ILLUS - Consider briefly the significance of worship with thanksgiving and praise:
It encourages others in their spiritual development.
It shows the world where my priorities are.
It is one means of expressing my love for God.
It is an avenue God has provided by which I can praise His name.
It is the offering of spiritual sacrifices.
It is a way of showing my thanksgiving to God for all He has done for me.
It is a period of communion with God with the world shut out entirely.
II. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus – ILLUS – Corrie ten Boom and her sister in a Nazi death camp, stripped naked for inspection. Her sister said of their naked savior on the cross “and I never thanked Him.” Thankfulness does not require bounty, just an appreciation for what our Savior has already done.
A. Actually try to count your blessings one by one - ILLUS: Bible commentator Matthew Henry, after being robbed, wrote in his diary the following: “Let me be thankful. First, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet, they did not take my life. Third because although they took my all, it was not much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
B. Every dark cloud has a silver lining- God can use ANYTHING for good – Praise – thanksgiving - is verbalized faith. If you thank God after the fact, that’s gratitude. If you thank God before it happens, that’s faith.”
1. Summarized story of David and Bathsheba
2. Summarized story of Joseph and his brothers
Many years ago when I was just a young child, I was looking over the bounty of presents I had received from Santa Claus on Christmas morning. I was very excited about all the good things he had brought to me. I noticed my mother watching my brother, my sister, and me. She was smiling. I said, “Mom, why are you so happy? Santa didn’t bring you anything.”
She replied, “I would rather watch you open gifts than get one myself.”
That statement made no sense at all to me. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be happy if everyone around them got presents and they didn’t.
Well, now I have children of my own. Every Christmas morning, I watch as my children open the presents brought to them by Santa Claus. I see the happiness in their eyes, I hear their shouts of delight, and that delights me. I know what my mother meant. It is very satisfying to watch your children when they are all happy.
How much more does God enjoy it when His children are happy? God feels our happiness more than we will ever know. He also feels our pain more than we will ever know.
You may have significant problems in your life. You may be in trouble with alcohol, marital stress, divorce, or any of a million different things that you think separate you from God. These things may make you feel that you can’t experience the happiness that I’ve spoken about here today. Well, I have good news. All things are possible through God. We’ve looked at some situations from the Bible where God took the most awful circumstances and turned them around to His glory and His Will.