I. Definitions.
A. joy: A vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction; the
feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted; exultation of spirit; gladness, delight.
B. rejoice: trans. To enjoy by possessing; to have full possession and use of (a thing). Obs.
2. To gladden, make joyful, exhilarate (a person, his spirits, etc.).
II. Rejoicing is not optional. It is a command of God. PHIL 3:1.
A. B. C. D.
III. Not all A.
C. D.
It is not a momentary requirement. PHIL 4:4; 1TH 5:16.
It should not be quenched because of trouble. 2CO 6:10; JAM 1:2. It is a cardinal trait of Christ's kingdom. ROM 14:17.
It is an evidence of grace. GAL 5:22.
rejoicing satisfies God's expectations. PRO 15:21; ACT 7:41; JAM 4:16. Indiscriminate joy is unhealthy. Babylon “happied” itself into oblivion. ISA 47:8-9. The doctrine of hedonism (pleasure is the chief good) is joy taken too far. It is death masquerading as a good time. 2TI 3:4; 1TI 5:6.
Godly rejoicing is, as Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord...” (PHIL 4:4). ISA 61:10.
We should rejoice in our God, His attributes, His works, His judgments, His salvation and His precepts.
1. There is a peace of God which transcends any peace of this world.
JOH 14:1, 27 c/w PHIL 4:7.
2. There is likewise a more excellent joy. PSA 4:7.
3. Faith alone can fill us with these. ROM 15:13.
4. Unmanaged joy can outrun faith. LUK 24:41; ACT 12:12-14.
IV. Fighting the good fight of faith requires strength. EPH 6:10.
A. Where the joy of the Lord is absent, so is strength. NEH 8:10.
B. Happiness is medicinal to the spirit and body. PRO 15:13, 15; 17:22.
C. A joyless heart can become numb to positive influences.
PRO 25:20; EXO 6:9; JOB 9:16.
D. True joy cannot be taken from you. It can only be lost by surrendering it. JOH 16:22.
1. One way of losing joy is through lethargy--when Christ and His service become familiar, unspectacular, or boring and personal interests take precedence.
a. This is called losing the first love. REV 2:4 c/w MAR 4:18-19.
b. Mark that zeal is no less optional than joy. TIT 2:14; REV 3:19.
2. Another way that the joy of the Lord is frustrated is through a guilt-ridden conscience because of sin. PSA 38:3-6, 10; JOH 15:10-11.
a. The conscience may be laboring under the false notion that eternity
depends on oneself rather than God and His grace. GAL 5:1-4.
b. The conscience may otherwise be burdened with guilt over something that
is not even unlawful in God’s sight. COL 2:20-23.
c. How important righteousness and truth are to our emotional well-being!
3. Joy may also be reduced through troubles and pressures. But these things need not overcome us. 1SAM 30:6; PSA 27:10-14; ISA 40:31.
a. Joy may be had in the midst of afflictions. 2CO 8:2; 1TH 1:6.
b. Joy should be had in persecutions. LUK 6:22-23; ACT 5:41.
c. Tribulation perfects us. ROM 5:3-5.
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d. If we lose all in this world, yet have we Christ. HAB 3:17-18.
e. It helps when we keep things in perspective and identify with Christ.
HEB 12:2; 1PE 4:12-13.
V. Is your strength low? Check your level of true joy.
A. While you're at it, check your faith. How much do you really believe the glad tidings or
gospel? ROM 15:13; 1PE 1:8.
B. Does ROM 8:1 thrill your heart?
C. Is God's election and discrimination sweet to you? LUK 10:20-21.
D. Is your attitude towards the Bible correct? PSA 119:162; JER 15:16.
E. Does finding God's truth and kingdom mean much to you? MAT 13:44; ACT 8:39.
F. Does the assembly of saints quicken your spirit? PSA 122:1; 137:6.
G. Do you do any witnessing or defending of the faith? 1PE 3:15 c/w PRO 15:23.
VI. When church members walk in Christ's light, rejoicing always in Christ, they also increase the minister's joy. 3JO 1:4; PHIL 2:14-16.
VII. An acronym to live by: JOY = Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
A. This is the Law and the Prophets. MAT 22:37-40.
B. This is charity, the only everlasting virtue. 1CO 13:4-13.
C. An undue focus on self is the source of much dissatisfaction since self can never be
satisfied. ECC 1:8; 2:10-11; 5:10-11.
D. True joy does not depend on getting what you desire but rather giving God what He
desires. This is what satisfies. 2TI 4:7.
VIII. In spite of our flaws, God joys over us with singing (ZEP 3:17). That of itself is something to
rejoice about.
IX. (PSA 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
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