The Birth of Joy
The Centrality of Joy
December 6, 2020
We will never understand the true source and significance of joy in human life until we understand its centrality to the character of God.
-God is the most joyful being in the universe.
…the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence and with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
-God’s intent was for creation to mirror His joy.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord… (Psalm 98:7-9)
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad…Let all creation rejoice before the Lord… (Psalm 96:11,13)
-Jesus came as the ultimate joy-bringer.
Behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10)
Well done good and faithful servant…come and share your master’s happiness. (Matthew 25:21)
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices…but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into this world. So with you; now is the time of your grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy…Until now, you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete. (John 16:20-24)
I am coming to you now, Father, 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. (John 17:13)
-Every new creation in Jesus Christ causes heaven to rejoice.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)
O taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)
-Joy is not an option in the life of a follower of Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
“If joy is the surest sign of the presence of God, the bottom line for you and me is simply this: grimness is not a Christian virtue…If God really is at the center of ones’ life and being, joy is inevitable. If we have no joy, we have missed the heart of the Good News and our bodies as much as our souls will suffer the consequences.” –There’s A Lot More To Your Health Than Not Being Sick by Bruce Larson
My joy is my responsibility.
1. Start today.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy.” –Charles Swindoll
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, and being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish, little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”—George Bernard Shaw
2. Expose yourself to “joy-carriers.”
Smiling faces make us feel happy. (Proverbs 15:30)
3. Celebrate the little things.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. (James 1:17)
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
4. Disconnect for a while.
Whatever is true; whatever is noble; whatever is right; whatever is pure; whatever is lovely; whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
5. Keep the “Big Picture” always in mind.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)