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Summary: Every human heart cries out for joy, but few ever find it. Relationships crumble because there is no joy. Family fights begin when joy is missing. God made us to be happy, but we have lost our way. In our text Jesus shows us the way to joy, so let�s loo

John 16:20-24; 17:13-17

Purpose: To see God’s blueprint for happiness.

Aim: I want the listener to focus on God’s eternal joy and enjoy God now.

INTRODUCTION: Every human heart cries out for joy, but few ever find it. Relationships crumble because there is no joy. Family fights begin when joy is missing. God made us to be happy, but we have lost our way. We need someone to point the way to joy.

The sailor’s compass is thought to have first been used in China in the eleventh century A.D. It consisted of a magnetized needle floating in water that consistently aligned itself with the earth’s magnetic field. Finding magnetic north allowed mariners and travelers to know the direction of south, east, and west and keep from getting lost.

To be lost geographically means to wander aimlessly without purpose or direction. The whole idea of "lost" implies there is a standard by which "found" is measured. Having a compass allows one to stay on a fixed course and gradually change one’s condition from lost to found.

One’s progress when lost is only as dependable as one’s compass and the world offers many unreliable ones. Since only Christ knows the way "home," we, the lost, must follow Him alone. [Rev. David Jeremiah’s Today’s Turning Point December 23, 2008]

In our text Jesus shows us the way to joy, so let’s look at the compass of God’s Word to see where it points.

Before we can find something, we must know what we are looking for. Otherwise, we could arrive and not know we are there.

I. What is Joy?

That may sound like a strange question. We think of joy as being happy, excited, and content about our circumstances. We might say, "Things are going good right now. I’m really happy." Joy, though, is much different.

16:22a A. Joy is internal "your heart will rejoice"

Happiness depends on happenings. Joy is a gift. The fruit of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22).

Notice that Jesus is talking about a joy that transcends circumstances. In John 16:20-24 Jesus mentions weeping, lamenting, grief, and labor pain. Jesus also talks about rejoicing twice and joy four times in the same verses.

Jesus is showing us that it is possible to have joy when circumstances are hard.

16:22b B. Joy is permanent "no one will take your joy away"

The joy that God gives is not subject to the whims of the world. When we depend on situations to make us happy, we are slaves of the next circumstance.

When we find God’s joy, we don’t have to worry about someone taking it away.

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken, Says the Lord who has compassion on you. (NAU)

16:24 C. Joy is complete "joy may be made full"

Worldly happiness is always lacking something. It always comes with regrets. Regrets may come from our guilty conscience, it may be the fear that it won’t last, or it may be because the happiness we have still hasn’t met our expectations--we expect it to be even better.

Joy, on the other hand, is so complete that it fills us. God’s joy has no regrets.

Joy is so complete that it infuses us with strength. Nehemiah 8:10 Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (NAU)

Joy keeps us from giving up. When a chronic disease tempts us to think that life is no longer worth living, joy gives us the strength to keep fighting. When a relationship goes sour and we think that there is no hope, joy gives us the strength to keep working on that relationship. When it seems like the bills will always be more than our income, joy will allow us to keep from buying what we don’t need and looking for ways to earn what is needed as we expect God to provide our needs.

17:13 D. Joy belongs to God "may have My joy"

God does not have OUR joy, we have His! Our goal is to capture God’s joy, not to manipulate ways to get our own joy.

So, what is God’s joy? This is explained for us in Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NAU)

So, Christ’s joy was something He was looking forward to. What Jesus looked forward to was so captivating, so appealing, and so attractive that even the Cross and the shame He endured did not dampen His enthusiasm. Jesus remained motivated and excited about what lay ahead for Him.

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