SERMON (Enjoy Joy)
There is something that we all do, whether we are little babies or senior adults, doctors say it is such good medicine that it relieves stress, can cure headaches, fight infections, and even alleviate hypertension.
When we engage in this activity, there are well documented physical affects, Muscles in the abdomen, chest, shoulders, and elsewhere contract; heart rate and blood pressure increase.
In one burst of this activity the pulse can double from 60 to 120, and systolic blood pressure can shoot from a normal 120 to 200.
Once we stop this activity, heartbeat and blood pressure also dip below normal, which is a sign of reduced stress.
What is this its Laughing.
Laughter is good for us, laughter is healthy. Solomon knew that. He said:
“A merry heart does good like a
medicine.” (Prov. 17:22)
But, as you know, we don’t always feel like laughing. The reason we laugh is because
something makes us happy, but we are not always happy.
Yet there is a delight, a gladness of heart, a rapture in the soul, that goes beyond and above happiness.
It is called joy.
Now there is a huge difference between joy and happiness:
You cannot be happy without being joyful. But you can be joyful without being happy. Happiness is external. Joy is internal. Happiness depends on outward circumstances.
Joy depends on inward character. Happiness depends upon what happens to us.
Joy depends upon who lives within us. Happiness is based on chance.
Joy is based on choice.
The word “happiness” comes from an old English word happ, which literally means “chance.”
It corresponds to the Latin fortuna, which means luck.
You see, if things happen the way we want them to happen, then we are happy.
But if they don’t happen the way we want them to, we are unhappy.
Happiness is temporary and fickle. Joy is permanent and settled.
Unfortunately, the world has caricatured Christians as being primarily purveyors of doom and gloom, prophets of sadness and sorrow, who condemn any fun as being sin.
I want you to know that Christianity is to be nothing less than a festival of joy.
C. S. Lewis said: “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
We should be in joy, and we should enjoy joy all of the time.
The words joy and joyful are used 250 times in the Bible.
The word rejoice is used 200 times in the Bible. So over 450 times we are told to be joyful and rejoice.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You
defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”
Billy Sunday wisely and rightly said: “If you have no joy in your religion, there is a leak in your Christianity.”
Listen to what Jesus said about joy…
Jn.15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
You see, when you receive Jesus you receive joy,
joy inexpressible and full of glory.
The Apostle Peter speaks of this joy in the first chapter of his first epistle. He tells us that we can find joy in at least five places if we know the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. There Is Joy in Salvation
There is no greater joy than the joy of being saved, knowing that you are saved, and knowing what you have because you have been saved.
We have not been given salvation to endure, we’ve been given salvation to enjoy.
Isaiah said: (Isa.12:3)”Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
There are two words in the Bible that are first cousins—joy and grace.
The Greek word for joy is chara.
The Greek word for grace is charis.
Both words come from the same root.
For the grace of God always produces the joy of God.
Grace is the root of salvation. Joy is the fruit of salvation.
Have you ever stopped to think of what is true of you if you are saved?
Have you ever thought about the benefits package that comes with salvation?
I jotted down just a few, and it certainly is not an exhaustive list, but think about it. Because of salvation:
I John. 1:7…Sins forgiven John.1:12…Child of God 1Peter. 1:3-4…Gives us hope John. 14:16…Holy Spirit with us John. 6:47…Eternal life
John. 11:26…We cannot die
Roman 8:28…God works everything for good
I John 5:14…God hears & answers prayers John. 14:2-3…Eternity with Jesus
2. There Is Joy in Sanctification
Sanctification comes after salvation.
There is no one and nothing that can rob you of your salvation.
In 1 Peter 1:4 we have “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven.”
But there is someone and there is something that can rob us of the joy of our salvation. That someone is us, and that something is sin.
Sorrow cannot rob you of your joy. Sickness cannot rob you of your joy. Suffering cannot rob you of your joy.
But the one thing that can rob us of our joy is sin, and the only kind of sin that can rob us of our joy is our sin.
After David had confessed his sin with Bathsheba and asked God for forgiveness, he said in
Ps. 51:12: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”
3. There Is Joy in Service
Salvation and sanctification automatically leads to service. Peter says we are not only elect, we’re not only sanctified,
but we’ve been sanctified “for obedience to Gods word. One of the major reasons many Christians have no joy in their life. It is because they are not doing anything for God.
Spurgeon once said:
“I cannot be happy unless I am doing something for God.”
Where there is no fruit there is no Joy & happiness.
4. There Is Joy in Suffering
1 Peter 1:6-7 ”In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
This is difficult to explain. It is very hard to understand but the light of God’s joy shines even in the midst of the darkness of suffering. You read through the Bible you will find this was the common experience of every disciple.
Paul said in 2 Cor. 7:4, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
Joy can swim in the stormy waves of suffering long after happiness has drowned.
Joy cannot be taken from us by what happens to us.
But joy can be taken from us by how we respond to what happens to us.
I remember at a funeral that I conducted hearing a relative saying “I am so happy that my loved one is not in that box, that they are with Jesus. There was grief but there was also Joy.
5. There Is Joy in Surrender
Peter goes on to say: 1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in
all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'”
There is no greater joy than that of being fully, totally, and completely surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
One of the most joyful Christians, according to all accounts, that has ever lived, was the founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth. Someone once said to him: “
Dr. Booth, would you please tell us what is the secret of your great joy?”
William Booth said: “It is very simple. I never say ‘no’ to the Lord.”
I remember a family trip to Buckingham Palace. The children asked the policeman on duty whether the Queen was at the palace, and they said, “No, the way you can tell is simply look at the flagpole on top of the palace.
Because when the Queen is on the throne the flag of England will be flying.”
I thought to myself. “Yes, and the flag of joy will always fly above the palace of my heart when King Jesus is on the throne.”
If you were to take a fish and place that fish on the beach, you would watch his gills gasp and
his scales begin to dry up. Now is that fish full of joy? Absolutely not. Well, how would you give that fish joy? If you covered him with a mountain of cash, would that make him joyful? No. What if you got him a beach chair, some sunglasses, and a coca cola, would that fill him full of joy? No.
What if you bought him a brand new wardrobe of double breasted fins and people skin shoes, would that fill him full of joy? No.
Do you know how to fill that fish full of joy? Just put him back in the water. Do you know why that fish can never have joy on the beach? Because he wasn’t made for the beach, he was made for the ocean.
I want to tell you you cannot have joy on this earth unless you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your Saviour.
You were made to know Him.
You were made to love Him.
When you give your life to Jesus, Jesus will give everlasting joy to your life.