Summary: This short series discusses the power of Joy - God's joy. There is a unique difference between joy and happiness. Joy can sustain us and dwell within us despite all circumstances we face while happiness cannot not.
The Power of Joy Part 1
The title of my message this morning is “The Power of Joy.” It was my desire to cover the topic in one message but there is too much information for me to cover in just one message so we will see how it goes. Three weeks ago during my morning time with my heavenly Father, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart about joy – what it is; what it means; and most important, it’s power. I want to share with you what was shared with me and I hope that, if you are not feeling any joy right now, you will walk away from this message knowing that joy is available to you and is actually within you because who you are – a child of God – even if you do not see its manifestation currently.
If you are like me you watched the Super Bowl game two weeks ago. During the game, they revealed the “new” commercials that are prepared especially to be released during the game. There was only one commercial that fully caught my attention and it had absolutely nothing to do with the product sold by the sponsor of the commercial. The sponsor of the commercial sold alcoholic beverage for a drink which I do not consume. However, when I saw this commercial, I rewound the playback and put on close caption so I could verify what I thought I had heard. As I listened to it again, the Spirit confirmed some things He had already shown me when I was preparing this message. Here is what the commercial shared with us: “What if we were wrong this whole time? Wrong in thinking that joy only happens at the end. After the sacrifice; after the commitment; after the win. What if happiness had always been there, fueling the run towards greatness? It’s not a distraction, but instead something more vital. What if joy is the whole game and not just the end game? So ask yourself, are you happy because you win, or do you win because you’re happy?” I can confirm to you that this commercial was spot on from a Scriptural viewpoint as it relates to joy. I wish they had just used the word “joy” the whole time versus substituting happiness, but they did not ask my opinion. While this commercial was talking about sports, I want you to translate it to life itself.
Let me rephrase this commercial. “What if we were right this whole time? Right in thinking that joy exists all the time, not just at the end. During the sacrifice; during the commitment; during the win. That joy has always been there, fueling the run towards victory? It’s never a distraction, but something more vital. That joy is the whole game and not the end game? Joy is not determined by our circumstances but because of our relationship – our relationship with Christ. So ask yourself, do you have joy because you’re victorious, or are you victorious because you have joy?” For a child of God, joy is not the end game, it’s the whole game. We are victorious in life because we have joy through Christ regardless of the circumstances we are facing at any given time!
I want to share something with you that Nehemiah said to his people. At this moment in Israel’s history, the law, long forgotten and long broken by the captives was now to be re-established for the children of Israel. Naturally, as the people remembered the many sins in their past history, they shed tears mingled with the thankfulness because they have been reminded that they are a nation that belongs to God and that He had not forgotten them. Nehemiah knew that if the spirits of his people once again began to fail that they would not be able to face or conquer the difficulties of failing once again. Think about it, how many times can you fail before you start believing that you can ever succeed? Understanding this, the following was recorded in Nehemiah 8:10. “Then he said unto them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet wine, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be you grieved; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Please know that as a child of God, “….the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The Bible says “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” A person who is not a Christian can have joy because the word in the Hebrew simply means “gladness.” So a person can have gladness WHEN their emotions have experience something good, like a job promotion or an unexpected gift. Human joy is interwoven with human emotions. But the Bible says the joy, the gladness, that we can receive from the Lord has nothing to do with what is going on with us emotionally. The joy that comes from the Lord is His joy and His joy is based on who He is, not on what’s going on in our lives. In other words, we can have supernatural joy in the midst of the most difficult circumstances because our Father freely gives it to us. Now let’s look at the impact joy plays in our lives.