Hope & Joy Part II: Joy

1.       Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

a.       Last week we talked about hope and how the things of this world can steal our hope away but that hope is a gift from God that we have already been given but just need to accept. We can also find joy despite the bad things that happen to us.

2.      Does anyone know the difference between happiness and Joy?

a.       James 1:2-4 2 Count it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (patience). 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything

b.      Matthew 5:11-12 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.

                                       i.            Happiness is directly affected by the things around us so it is fleeting. It comes and goes depending on if things around you are good or bad. You are happy when things around you are good or when good things happen to you. A birthday party makes you happy. But happiness doesn’t make you a better person.

                                     ii.            Joy is not fleeting. Joy comes from your hope in Jesus and your faith in the promises of God. Joy is always with you even when things are bad. Joy is why you can feel positive and fulfilled even when there is no party and no money for presents. Joy is from God.

c.       Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

                                       i.            Having joy despite your trials will make you a stronger person. It matures you and builds you up and helps your faith grow.

                                     ii.            Having joy in the Lord can get you through any trial that life throws at you.

                                   iii.            God does not want you to be sad (grieve) he wants you to have joy in his love for you and will always provide for you.

3.      How do we receive joy?

a.       John 15:9-11  9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

                                       i.            For our joy to be complete we have to keep God's commands. But how does being obedient bring us love and joy? In the simplest terms, we can be joyful when we know that God is proud of us. We can be criticized and made fun of by our friends but if God is good with our actions and the person we are we can be joyful knowing that we are good and don’t need to please anyone but God.

b.      Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

                                       i.            We need to trust in God and know that His spirit lives within us and gives us the power to be joyful and overflow with hope despite the trials within us, our circumstances and the brokenness of the world around us.

 

APPLY

1.      When have you felt the joy of the Lord despite bad circumstances or the brokenness of the world?

a.       Moving to Colorado was a step of Faith for me. No one in my life was supportive of me moving to Denver with Christin. All of my friends, siblings, and even my parents were discouraging me and actively trying to get me to stay. At the same time Christin had broken her leg and we needed a new transmission in the Jeep so there went all the moving money. Despite all of the bad things that were happening in California we had Joy in the Lord and in knowing  that we were following God's command to leave that unhealthy and sinful life behind. Our venture in faith and joy worked out and it was all because of God. I found a job here within ten days of moving and Christin and I have both gained a stronger relationship with God and each other through our work in ministry. Now we are here teaching you guys all because we decided to follow Gods command and we find so much joy working with you kids.

2.      What steps could you take daily to find joy in the Lord.

a.       Pray

b.      Read your bible

c.       Service to others

d.      Trust in God

e.      Be obedient

3.      How do you think having the Joy of the Lord will change who you are and how you feel when circumstances try and steal your hope and joy away?

a.       Make you stronger

b.      Make things not hurt as bad

c.       Give you a reason to live and gives life meaning

d.      Reminds you that God is greater than all the bad things

e.      Want to help others find Jesus so they can have joy too

 

Christin Cordova-Burkhart