Three Reasons for Joy
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
They say the show must go on … life goes on … but how can we show joy when we have no joy? Joy is something you cannot fake … at least on the inside and that’s where we need joy the most. Would you like more joy? So would I.
Welcome to HT, I’m CM sharing the GS that all about Jesus where this week we’ve been talking about Joy .. how how to find joy in the valleys. This program is called ….
The first two days of the week we had on the program a pastor’s wife, Kay Warren, talking about how to choose joy. She spoke from first hand experience – having undergone cancer and family problems. And through that, the Lord drew near and Kay found joy. Wouldn’t you like to find this joy? After the program, why don’t you call us for a copy of the book Choose Joy. Call 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN. Or visit our website and read a sample chapter of the book, make your gift to the ministry and ask for a copy of Choose Joy. Go to haventoday.org.
Now let me be honest with you. I woke this morning without much joy. On my way home from Israel last week, I got sick and I was in bed all yesterday.
- On a Haven tour to Israel, close to 40 people out of 60 became sick. Riding on a bus, whatever it was began … fever, coughing, sore throat. People were hoping for the trip of a lifetime and they started sick. Now everybody on the trip said that despite the illness, they had a great time and the Lord revealed himself to them. But joy was a little lacking.
- On the same trip to Israel, I heard from a good friend whose father just died. And while some people experience joy in the loss of a loved one, my friend was somber and joy was lacking.
- Then on the same trip to Israel and Jordan, another good friend suffered a massive heart attack. His joy now, as I spoke with Sunday afternoon? He’s still alive and the Lord isn’t quite ready to bring him home.
We’re told in the scriptures that sorrow can give way to joy, but is that happening to you? Has it been a long time since you’ve had much joy? How can we have joy when we feel no joy? The word joy shows up a lot in the Bible and especially in the Gospels. From that we know that Jesus wants us to have joy. In John 15, Jesus tells his disciples that he is the vine and we are the branches. We show we are disciples of Christ by bearing fruit for Christ. And then in John 15:11, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
And we find out a lot more about grace when we get to John 17, when Jesus was praying just before heading to the cross. The Last Supper was eaten, Judas has betrayed him and is rounding up the guards to come and get him. He’s praying to His Father in heaven in what’s been called the great high priestly prayer. It’s the most intimate account we have of God the Son with God the Father. Listen for the word joy and how that releates to you. John 17:13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
Did you hear that last snippet from the prayer of Jesus? “…so that they may have the full measure of MY joy within them.” That’s what we’re going to find out about – finding not just joy, but his joy in us in the next few minutes. HT opens with the music of Laura Story and Bless the Lord.
SONG – Bless the Lord – Laura Story – Great God Who Saves
From her Great God Who Saves album, Laura Story and Bless the Lord on a HT called ….
I’m CM. I woke up this morning still sick – a fever, aches, runny nose and wondering where the joy went. How can I share a message on joy when I don’t feel joy. Well I have to admit to you. I opened my Bible and found my way to
Isaiah 51:11 “Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
As I kept on reading the Bible on joy and found my way to the words of Jesus on joy, I realized that joy comes when we shift our focus away from ourselves and on to Jesus. Joy comes from him and not from me. I was beginning to sense the Lord’s joy, as I read about joy in the Word. And then I recalled the famous missionary to China, Hudson Taylor writing about joy. He said
“It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, First, His joy in ransoming us. Second, His joy in living within us as Saviour and Power for fruitbearing. Third, His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight. He said it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change.” Now I’ll repeat that later and we’ll put the quote up on our website. But let’s take them one at time and find where Hudson Taylor was getting this from the scriptures.
You see, last joy, joy that you can depend on, never comes by your own making. It’s joy because of his presence. We heard that from the lips of Jesus himself. The Apostle Peter points this out in his sermon at Pentecost when 3,000 were met Jesus and were baptized. He was quoting Psalm 16, a psalm of David, when he said in Acts 2:28,
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Now, let’s look at the three reasons for joy that I mentioned from Hudson Taylor. First, there is His joy in ransoming us. Hebrews tells us it was joy set before him when he went to the cross. We know he didn’t want to do it. He asked the father, if there was another way that we might be saved, then let that come to pass. But yet, as an angel ministered to him in the garden before the crucifixion, he knew he had to do it. He did it for you. He did it because he loved you.
Heb. 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
First, there is His joy in ransoming us. Second, there is His joy in living within us as Saviour and Power for fruitbearing. The joy of the Lord becomes more real when we go through the deepest of valleys and remember one more time that he promised to never leave us, even as he went to prepare a place for us. The Spirit of Christ is with us. Doesn’t that fill your heart with joy? His joy? And if you are a Christ follower, you may go through times of lacking joy but you can rest assured that his joy never leaves you and then as you pray and read his word, you can be reminded again of this joy – “my joy” he said, “I give to you”. Powerful! As we have his joy, we are joyful partners with those who have risked their lives or even given their lives for the spreading of the Gospel. Paul said it in Philippians 1. “I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Third, there is His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight. Jesus taught about the bridegroom coming. He taught that without the oil of the spirit we would be left out of the great wedding feast to come – when the church of Jesus Christ – the bride meets the bridegroom. He delights in us and he looks forward that day to come. If there is one place in the Bible that could encourage us, I think it is Philippians chapter 2. The entire book of Philippians is a book of joy. Listen to the second chapter:
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Joyful words from Paul the Apostle in Philippians 2.
“It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, First, His joy in ransoming us. Second, His joy in living within us as Saviour and Power for fruitbearing. Third, His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight. He said it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change.
CLOSE – You Are Good – Point of Grace – How You Live
I am so thankful for your being here today. And if the Lord has kept you listening, would you join me in pray?
Lord in heaven, I’m probably alone in needing joy to fill my heart today. Probably many of us are lacking joy, so that’s what we pray for. May we find the joy of Jesus given to us by our savior who promised he would never leave us, even as he left to prepare a place for us. Some of us are sick, some of us not and yet we need to find the joy of grace that you can impart to us if we only ask. And we are asking now. May we never forget that benediction in Jude … To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
SONG – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Kathy Tracolli or Selah, depending on time you need.
You know if you like, you can e-mail us and we will pray that you find your joy in Jesus. And might I also suggest that you write and share with us how you’ve found your joy in Christ as you’ve turned your eyes upon Jesus.
Wouldn’t you like to find this joy? After the program, why don’t you call us for a copy of the book Choose Joy. Call 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN. Or visit our website and read a sample chapter of the book, make your gift to the ministry and ask for a copy of Choose Joy. Go to haventoday.org.
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Everyone knows how to be joyful in the peaks of life.When all your fondest hopes and wildest dreams come true, and your heart nearly explodes with happiness, it's easy to feel joyful.But what about the valleys? When nothing seems to go your way? When everything is...
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