Temple Baptist Church - 7-11-2012
A. One thing that I often find missing among the people of God is that of joy! We are to be enjoying the things of God. Yes, I know that we have problems but thank God, one day, troubles and sorrows will all end and we have an eternity to enjoy the “riches of his grace!” Our sinfulness and, too often, our situations rob us of the joy that God wants us to have. Paul was having one of the hardest times of his Christian life when this epistle was written. In these verses, we find Paul imprisoned and, in verse 23, did nor know the outcome; he was having to send Timothy, who was his only comfort, because there was no one else who would love and care for them as Paul would; Epaphroditus had been sick, nigh unto death; and, yet, Paul still had the joy of the Lord in his heart and was continually rejoicing in the things of the Lord.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
B. All through the Bible, we find God’s will concerning joy, rejoicing, and happiness and the results of it.
Nehemiah 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.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
C. I could give a multitude of verses but I think we get the picture. We should be happy, well-adjusted as Christians and, yet, many believers endure church, the tithe, the fellowship of brethren, and the Christian lifestyle! We should enjoy the Lord, the Book, the fellowship of the brethren, the church, the tithe, the preaching, and the Christian life! Many times we are all guilty of losing the freshness of our salvation; the first love of the Saviour; and the excitement of service.
Where does the Christian find his or her joy?
1. Christian Joy Is Found In Salvation - Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
2. Christian Joy Is Found In The Saviour - 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
3. Christian Joy Is Found In Security - Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
4. Christian Joy Is Found In The Sanctuary - Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5. Christian Joy Is Found In The Scriptures - Nehemiah 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
6. Christian Joy Is Found In Service - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
7. Christian Joy Is Found In Surety - John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
What joy does do for the Christian?
1. Joy changes Duty into Delight! 1 Thessalonians 2:18-20 (18) Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. (19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (20) For ye are our glory and joy.
2. Joy changes Persecution into Privilege! Acts 5:40-42 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. (41) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
3. Joy changes Burdens into Blessings! Philippians 1:12-14 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; (13) So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; (14) And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
4. Joy changes Trials into Triumphs! James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.