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Summary: What the world needs most is the impact joyful Christians make; that’s one of the best ways we show God’s love in a practical way.

Introduction -

There are many joy-robbers: IRS Form 1040s, pink slips, overtime, unexpected changes.

Paul the Apostle experienced many more things than these (2 Corinthians 11 (quickview) ) and still rejoiced (Philippians 4 (quickview) ).

Joy is:

A result of trusting Christ that makes us able to see life from God’s perspective.

A gift from Jesus (John 15:11 (quickview) ).

A choice we make - joyful living follows our active choice to live above our circumstances by trusting God when we don’t understand what’s happening - just like Paul did.

We must discover and use joy.

Joy:

Helps us live in the present, instead of in the failures of the past or the questions of the future.

Says to to negativism, and yes to hope.

Gives up the need to control what’s beyond ourselves.

Realizes no one’s perfect, otherwise "What’s heaven for?"

Step 1: Honor God Now

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord…”

Praise His control over everything

God is never wrong or misleading

God helps us grow more complete

God can restore our hearts when we fail

Praise His help to us

His grace is available every day

He is faithful to remember our wants and needs

He controls every good and perfect gift

Step 2: Take and Use God’s Gifts Now

“...who hath blessed us…”

Personal salvation

Chosen

Redeemed

Sealed

Personal usefulness

Disciples learn how to obey

Involved with others

Dedicated to worship

Personal hope

To see Christ

To live a life honorable to God and us both

Why Hasn’t God Blessed Me?

He has...

When you trusted Christ, God gave you the new birth and a birthright (adoption) that promises you are blessed now.

We don’t take advantage of God’s gifts more than we like to admit, and keep asking him for what He’s already given.

Conclusion:

A young couple began attending a midwest church. They had been saved ony about 8 months when they announced that they needed prayer; they had experienced several miscarriages and had just discovered they were with child again.

The congregation responded; they had the most prayed for baby in the church.

After the child’s birth alive, they realized their fears when their child died hours after birth. Their pastor joined them, as well as their unsaved families. After a time of sorrow, the attending physician asked if they would like to hold their baby one last time. They said yes. Instead of cursing God, questioning Him, or complaining, they took their child (named Mindy), placed it in the arms of their unsaved parents, and said, "If you don’t trust Christ, you’ll never see Mindy again. We’ll be spending eternity with her in heaven."

In following weeks, her family came to church and responded to the gospel message.

If she had responded in bitterness, who knows what happens next. She used the joy of the Lord that passes understanding,and saw her family saved.

We too need to discover and use the joy of our salvation.


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