The Christian and Joy

Derek Thomas:

The Holy Spirit has exhorted the faithful to continue clapping their hands for joy until the advent of the promised Redeemer,” wrote John Calvin in a comment on Psalm 47:12. Paul would heartily concur! Writing from a prison cell from which he had no certain knowledge of escaping other than to his execution, joy is what came to mind. Joy is what the epistle to the Philippians is all about. So much is Philippians about joy that George B. Duncan once referred to it as “the life of continual rejoicing.” The opposite of joy is misery, and miserable is something we are not meant to be. The Reformers caught the centrality of joy in the affections of Christians when they insisted that our chief goal in life is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (WSC, Q. 1).

Christians are tempted, of course, to be discouraged and depressed by the force of overwhelming circumstances. But in such circumstances, we must tell ourselves that we have no right to feel the way we do! Paul, who knew what it was to be in prison, to be beaten and spat upon, to be cold shouldered and ignored, commands us to rejoice, despite what we may feel: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).

Joy Portrayed

Continue: https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/the-christian-and-joy/

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Megaphones for Christ

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 This letter is from Paul and Silas and Timothy. It is to you, the church, in the city of Thessalonica. You belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May you have His loving-favor and His peace.

2 We thank God for you all the time and pray for you. 3 While praying to God our Father, we always remember your work of faith and your acts of love and your hope that never gives up in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 Christian brothers, we know God loves you and that He has chosen you. 5 The Good News did not come to you by word only, but with power and through the Holy Spirit. You knew it was true. You also knew how we lived among you. It was for your good. 6 You followed our way of life and the life of the Lord. You suffered from others because of listening to us. But you had the joy that came from the Holy Spirit. 7 Because of your good lives, you are showing all the Christians in the countries of Macedonia and Greece how to live. 8 The Word of the Lord has been spoken by you in the countries of Macedonia and Greece. People everywhere know of your faith in God without our telling them. 9 The people themselves tell us how you received us when we came to you. They talk of how you turned to God from worshiping false gods. Now you worship the true and living God. 10 They tell us how you are waiting for His Son Jesus to come down from heaven. God raised Him from the dead. It is Jesus Who will save us from the anger of God that is coming.

Have you ever attended a professional sports event? Thousands upon thousands of people scream and cheer loudly, as if their shouts were actually willing their side to victory. People certainly get excited about their favorite sports teams.

How many believers do you know who put that same passion and intensity into their faith? How often do you proclaim the saving truth of Jesus Christ as loudly as a football fan proclaims his or her allegiance?

In his letter to the church at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul rejoices in the young congregation’s passion for telling the world about Christ. Because the city was a busy seaport, he knew that the church there had the ear of the entire world. Travelers would hear the gospel and then take it back and share it with their own communities.

Paul praised the Thessalonians because “the word of the Lord has sounded forth” from them (1 Thess. 1:8). Our heavenly Father wants the same to be true of His children today. Before there were any microphones or loudspeakers, a long, curved device known as a sounding board was used to amplify a public speaker’s voice. We can think of the Thessalonians as living amplifiers who proclaimed Jesus Christ to the world. And we should emulate them.

If you’re a “fan” of Jesus, then you have the responsibility of sharing with the world who He is and what He has done for you. Shout it from the rooftops! Fill entire stadiums with the thunder of your praise! Don’t just show the people around you who your favorite sports team is. Make sure they know who your Savior is as well.

~ Andy Stanley

Fifteen Tactics for Joy

~ John Piper

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

How shall we fight for joy?

  1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.
  2. Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly.
  3. Resolve to attack all known sin in your life.
  4. Learn the secret of gutsy guilt — how to fight like a justified sinner.
  5. Realize that the battle is primarily a fight to see God for who he is.
  6. Meditate on the Word of God day and night.
  7. Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God.
  8. Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.
  9. Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.
  10. Be patient in the night of God’s seeming absence.
  11. Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that your body was designed by God to have.
  12. Make a proper use of God’s revelation in nature.
  13. Read great books about God and biographies of great saints.
  14. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (witness and mercy).
  15. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself out for the unreached.

God . . . good friends

Hod us fast

A good prayer for all

May-the-God-of-hope-fill-you-with-all-joy-and-peace-as-you-trust-in-him

A relevant church

Relevant chrch

4 Christlike Characteristics of a Biblical Comforter

http://www.rpmministries.org/2016/04/4-christlike-characteristics-of-a-biblical-comforter/