OF CHRISTIAN JOY
What is Christian Joy?
1. What Christian joy is not.
Fleshly feelings or carnal experiences.
-We may experience these carnal joys from world entertainment and amusements. Laughter and myrrh of this carnal variety, though not all bad, brings no lasting satisfaction.
-Today, this type of carnal, sensual joy has made its way into the religious realm. Much of the "gospel" music scene along with the so called "Christian comedians" is no more than entertainment for the flesh. Its effects are not lasting, any more than from other forms of entertainment, and people are left empty in the aftermath of the experience. This is what most religious energies are expended on today. This is what most of the "big churches" are using to replace the preaching of the Word of God. The joy of those indulged in this carnal religious entertainment is left unfulfilled.
2. The sweet feeling of the Lord's presence in your heart.
-The realization that He loves you
-The realization that He is always with you
-The realization that He cares about you
-The realization that He undertakes for you
-The realization that His love will never fail you
3. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
-True joy cannot be produced by the flesh
-True joy can only be experienced by those who have the Holy Spirit
The need for joy:
(Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.)
Ne 8:10 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.
I don't have to tell you that life is hard; that life is full of burdens, and trials, and hardships. Often times we are drained physically, emotional, as well as spiritually. We need the joy of the Lord to give us strength to go on. And not just to go on, but to do our best, and to continue on steadfastly; to be over-comers and victorious in our lives. To be able at the end of each day to rejoice in our triumphs instead of feeling half dead.
For our health:
Pr 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Even medical doctors tell us that joy and laughter is good for our physical health. Just think what true Christian joy will do for our health if carnal joy does it some good!
Ps. 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Needless to say, this lost world needs for God's people to have the joy of the Lord. It is when we have the joy of the Lord in our lives that we will teach lost sinners the ways of the Lord, and they will be converted.
Four things that will cause Christian joy:
1. When the rightful King is reigning: 1 Chronicles 12:38-40
There was great joy when Israel enthroned God's anointed king. Old Saul, who was a hard taskmaster, was dead. Now David was exalted to his rightful place as king of all Israel.
When Jesus is reigning as King in our hearts and lives- commanding and controlling the events of our lives, there we will have great joy. When self, or this old world, or Satan is ruling our lives as Christians, were not going to have joy. If fact, we will be miserable, whether we are willing to admit it or not. But when Jesus is ruling and reigning in our lives we will have joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Is Jesus on the throne of our hearts this morning? Oh, that we may enthrone the rightful King as sovereign over our lives.
2. When broken fellowship with the Lord is restored:
Sometimes our fellowship with the Lord is broken, and He is not present in our lives as He was in times past. This happens when we have unconfessed or unforsaken sin in our lives, and we lose that sweet fellowship with the Lord, and the joy of our salvation.
When this is our case, we need to repent and confess our sins to the Lord: Psalm 51:7-12. There is great joy when the presence of the Lord returns in our lives:
3. When God's people are victorious: 1 Samuel 18:6
-Over the devil, and his temptations.
-Over the world and its temptations and lusts and vanity fare.
-Over our old sinful nature, and those sins that so easily beset us.
There is great cause of rejoicing when we are victorious over our enemies.
4. When a person is saved by the grace of God: Isaiah 61:10
You will experience great joy such as you have never known before when the Lord saves your soul. You will rejoice in the Lord because it is He Who clothes you with the garments of salvation; it is He Who covers you with the robe of righteousness; Yes, it is the Lord Who provides everything you need in salvation. "Salvation is of the Lord"- what a great cause from rejoicing!
Do you have the joy of salvation? If not, are you saved?
If your are not saved, we urge you to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will receive the joy of the Lord and of the Holy Spirit in your life.
If you are saved and you don't have Christian joy, maybe it is because:
-The rightful King is not reigning on the throne of your heart. Perhaps self or the world is ruling your life- if so, bring the King back (2 Sam. 19:10-11).
Absalom had usurped the throne from his father David and drove David into exile, and caused chaos and confusion and unrest in the land. In this text Absalom had been killed in battle and the people were being exhorted to bring the King back- to send for him, to show him that they wanted him back. The king himself besought them as to why they hadn't sent for him.
Has Absalom usurped the place of Jesus on the throne of your heart? If so, slay Absalom that wicked and ungodly king, and bring the King back- send for the King to come back to reign upon the throne of your heart.
-Or perhaps you have unconfessed sin in your life- If so, you need to make that thing right, that the fellowship and joy of the Lord may be restored.
-Or maybe you aren't winning the victory over your enemies in your life. Perhaps you are trying to win your battles in the power of the flesh. If so, you need to commit your ways unto to Lord:
Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
We need, like David when fighting against Goliath, to trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him, and look to Him to give us the victory.
-Maybe you need to ask the Lord to increase your faith:
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
May each of us as God's people know the joy of the Lord in our lives. We need it for our strength, for our health, and for our testimony to lost sinners in this world.