How Joy Is A Source of Strength

 Jack Wellman

Joy is a Gift

If you are grieving or going through a difficult time right now, it’s hard to have joy, but the joy of the Lord is a great source of strength, but it’s also a gift from God. Human joy can’t take us very far. It disappears in the dark shadows of our trials and tribulations, but the joy which God gives is permanent and is as eternal as the life God has given us through Christ. Prior to Jesus going to the cross and returning to the Father, He told His disciples, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Notice that they must have had some joy in order for it to be full, so even though the disciples were troubled about Jesus leaving them, He said, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The Lord has “spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). The psalmist understood that joy did not from a human source, but from God, writing, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). What God puts there, stays there, so first of all, joy is a gift from God.

 

Read more and comment: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2019/06/05/how-joy-is-a-source-of-strength/

The joy of the Lord is a source of strength, but it’s so much more.

Joy is a Gift

If you are grieving or going through a difficult time right now, it’s hard to have joy, but the joy of the Lord is a great source of strength, but it’s also a gift from God. Human joy can’t take us very far. It disappears in the dark shadows of our trials and tribulations, but the joy which God gives is permanent and is as eternal as the life God has given us through Christ. Prior to Jesus going to the cross and returning to the Father, He told His disciples, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Notice that they must have had some joy in order for it to be full, so even though the disciples were troubled about Jesus leaving them, He said, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The Lord has “spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). The psalmist understood that joy did not from a human source, but from God, writing, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). What God puts there, stays there, so first of all, joy is a gift from God.

Let Nothing Steal Your Joy

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“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13

When we come to Christ and His Holy Spirit takes residence in us, true joy is one of the many gifts we receive. This joy is produced as a result of trusting in God who is the Source of all joy. It is often easy to express this joy when things are going well, but there is nothing particularly “Christian” about that since most anyone expresses joy in comfortable circumstances. Something extraordinary about the Apostle Paul, however, is how unbelievably strong his joy was when things weren’t going so well. In 2 Corinthians 7:4 he said, “I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.” Say what?! What an amazing reflection of Jesus our attitude can have, especially in the face of adversity.

The enemy, however, will do anything in his power to steal our joy! From the moment your feet touch the floor in the morning, he will do all he can to distract you, overwhelm you, and frustrate you. He will take advantage of any difficulty in our day to cause worry, doubt, and to steal our joy. After all, stealing things is what he does best! John 10:10 says that the thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy the abundant life God has for us. Don’t let him! We have a choice of what voice we will listen to and who we will believe. God has given us power through His Holy Spirit to live free of bondage and live a rich and satisfying life. God is our source of joy, and he gives us the assurance that, no matter what, he is with us. Trust in God, believe His word, resist the devil, and choose joy in all circumstances.

The Joy Of The Christian

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The Joy Of The Christian

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Joy in Christ

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A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Depression and anxiety have climbed steeply in recent years. How should Christians respond to these challenging times? Today, R.C. Sproul identifies the key to being grateful and content, no matter the circumstances.

A Letter of Joy

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A Broadcast with Ligonier Ministries

It was from prison that the Apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Today, Steven Lawson begins his in-depth study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, revealing what it takes to have joy amid even the darkest circumstances.

Spiritual Joy

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Focusing on Jesus is the key to joy, even during times of distress.

Philippians 1:1-18

This letter is from Paul and Timothy. We are servants owned by Jesus Christ. This letter is to all who belong to Christ Jesus who are living in the city of Philippi and to the church leaders and their helpers also. May you have grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God for you whenever I think of you. I always have joy as I pray for all of you. It is because you have told others the Good News from the first day you heard it until now. I am sure that God Who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again. It is right for me to feel like this about all of you. It is because you are very dear to me. While I was in prison and when I was proving that the Good News is true, you all shared God’s loving-favor with me. God knows what I am saying. He knows how much I love you all with a love that comes from Jesus Christ. And this is my prayer: I pray that your love will grow more and more. I pray that you will have better understanding and be wise in all things. 10 I pray that you will know what is the very best. I pray that you will be true and without blame until the day Christ comes again. 11 And I pray that you will be filled with the fruits of right living. These come from Jesus Christ, with honor and thanks to God. 12 Christian brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped spread the Good News. 13 Everyone around here knows why I am in prison. It is because I preached about Jesus Christ. All the soldiers who work for the leader of the country know why I am here. 14 Because of this, most of my Christian brothers have had their faith in the Lord made stronger. They have more power to preach the Word of God without fear.

15 Some are preaching because they are jealous and want to make trouble. Others are doing it for the right reason. 16 These do it because of love. They know that I am put here to prove the Good News is true. 17 The others preach about Christ for what they get out of it. Their hearts are not right. They want to make me suffer while I am in prison. 18 What difference does it make if they pretend or if they are true? I am happy, yes, and I will keep on being happy that Christ is preached.

 

The apostle Paul demonstrated that spiritual joy is possible even during times of adversity. In fact, his epistle to the Philippians, written during a time of imprisonment, is known for its repeated references to rejoicing. But have you ever felt as if you’ve lost your joy? This can happen for several reasons:

Wrong focus. By centering on Jesus, Paul was able to praise God despite harsh trials. Concentrating on difficulties can cause delight to vanish. Refocus through praise to bring it back.

Disobedience. Sin steals our joy because it disrupts our fellowship with God (The Lord will not hear me if I hold on to sin in my heart. Ps. 66:18). As we receive His forgiveness and obey Him, joy returns.

Regret. We crowd out gladness when we dwell on past mistakes. The Lord has forgiven us (If we tell Him our sins, He is faithful and we can depend on Him to forgive us of our sins. He will make our lives clean from all sin. 1 John 1:9). He wants us to choose to live in His grace and move ahead.

Fear. Joy and fear cannot coexist. We are called to live by faith, asking God to meet today’s needs and trusting Him with the future.

Others’ suffering. How can we rejoice when others hurt? Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. Romans 12:15says we’re to weep with them, but we are also to offer the hope of God’s presence, power, and provision.

A consistently downcast spirit is a poor witness for hope (Why are you sad, O my soul? Why have you become troubled within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my help and my God. Ps. 42:11). Fix your gaze on the Savior and let His joy become yours. Then it can overflow to those around you.

The Empowering Emotion of Joy

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True joy comes not from circumstances but from our relationship with Jesus.

John 15:9-17

I have loved you just as My Father has loved Me. Stay in My love. 10 If you obey My teaching, you will live in My love. In this way, I have obeyed My Father’s teaching and live in His love. 11 I have told you these things so My joy may be in you and your joy may be full.

12 “This is what I tell you to do: Love each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one can have greater love than to give his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I tell you. 15 I do not call you servants that I own anymore. A servant does not know what his owner is doing. I call you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father. 16 You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you. I have set you apart for the work of bringing in fruit. Your fruit should last. And whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.

17 “This is what I tell you to do: Love each other.

 

Jesus promised us His joy, but at times it can evade us. There are some important things to understand about this spiritual fruit. As we saw yesterday, the Holy Spirit is its source. And being supernatural in nature, divine joy exists independently of our circumstances. Happiness, on the other hand, comes from external causes, is an earthly in character, and increases or decreases as events change.

Holy Spirit-developed joy comes when we:

Focus on our relationship with the Lord. Because of Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we are forever His. Nothing can separate us from our Savior.

Observe His transforming work in others. Notice what God is doing around you: rescuing people from bondage to sin and transforming them into His likeness.

Serve those He sends to us. Our obedient, loving care for others brings spiritual joy.

Meditate on God’s living Word. Through Scripture, we receive an outpouring of His love and precious truths on which to build our lives.

Take a few minutes to contemplate the wonder of your new birth, share someone’s spiritual joy, obediently serve another person, or receive guidance from God’s Word. Then check your emotional barometer. Are you singing hallelujah yet?

Joy in Worship

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Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.
Nehemiah 12:43 
In the history of the Church, a variety of forms and styles of worship have been employed—never more so than in today’s twenty-first-century worship services. Historically, some churches have sung only the Psalms; some have sung acapella, without instruments; some have had choirs, while some have not; some have used only a piano or organ for accompaniment. Today, many churches have worship teams that include singers and bands, and some have full orchestras.
The New Testament doesn’t prescribe how “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” are to be sung, but it does say there should be “singing and making melody in [our] heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Nehemiah 12 is an example of the extent to which songs of praise and thanksgiving can be offered: multiple choirs and instrumentalists marching around the walls of Jerusalem before settling into the temple.

Are you an enthusiastic worshiper of God? Whatever your church’s style, let your voice resound with praise to our God. Our praise should be the outward manifestation of our inner joy and gratitude to God.

What or whom we worship determines our behavior.
John Murray

– David Jeremiah

Finding Joy in Christ

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The Apostle Paul’s prescription to both issues was for Christians to focus on Christ. Paul taught them from his example. He also spoke about self-centeredness in the congregation and its effect on the church’s unity there (2:1-4).

As Paul draws his epistle to a close, he shares about his friendship and offers thanksgiving. He also reasserts his call to courage and unity in the church, summoning every Christian to stand firm in the Lord. Further, he urges reconciliation among two influential people in the church (Phil. 4:1-3). In Philippians 4:4-9, Paul continues sharing a last-minute list of things he wants to focus on with the Philippians: Rejoice, be gentle, don’t worry, pray, think biblical thoughts, and do good deeds.

Two Ways to Deal with Life

Continue at: https://www.reformation21.org/blog/finding-joy-in-christ

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