How To Have Christian Joy
TEXT: (John 15:11 KJV) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Theme: Reminding ourselves of what we are and have in Jesus will renew our joy.
The Word of God is full of wonderful verses that tell us of the JOY that is ours in Christ:
(Neh 8:10 KJV) … the joy of the LORD is your strength.
(Psa 16:11 KJV) … in thy presence is fulness of joy…
(Psa 32:11 KJV) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
(Eccl 2:26 KJV) For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy
(Isa 12:3 KJV) Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
(Acts 13:52 KJV) And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
(Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
And yet, often we do not seem to experience joy, do we? We sometimes FEEL more like David: (Psa 51:12 KJV) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
We sometimes feel like:
(Isa 24:11 KJV) There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
(Prov 14:13 KJV) Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
(Lam 5:15 KJV) The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
We know the Bible teaches that as believers, we have access to the joy of the Lord. We can have joyful Christian lives. Sometimes we just forget how! Let's remind ourselves, this morning, How to Have Christian Joy:
You can have the Joy of Christ by reminding yourself that:
I. Jesus Loves You!
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(John 15:13 KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
(Rom 5:8 KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
SONG - Jesus Loves Me
1. The love of family is precious.
2. The love of God's family (church) is precious.
3. The love of Jesus surpasses all the rest.
II. Jesus Is Not Angry With You!
(Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
(John 3:18 KJV) He that believeth on him is not condemned:
(John 5:24 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
ILLUS. I had a Great Dane once, named Pharaoh, that had a besetting sin. He could not stay out of the trash! Even after wearing him out, he would turn and stick his head right back into the bin! I could always tell when he had done wrong, because he would have a hang-dog, terrified, liquid-eyed, tail-between-the-legs look which plainly said, "I know I did wrong, and I know you are very very very angry with me!"
1. When we sin, we feel sometimes that Jesus is angry with us.
2. Rejoice in the knowledge that ALL sin (past, present, and future) was forgiven and done away with on Calvary! (How then can He be angry for something that was taken care of 2000 years ago!?)
SONG - "All my iniquities on Him were laid. He nailed them all to the tree. Jesus the debt of my sin FULLY PAID! He paid the ransom for me."
III. Jesus Has Forgotten The Things You've Done Wrong!
(Heb 8:12 KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
1. Some people never forget when we do wrong!
2. Sometimes we never forget when others do us wrong!
3. Sometimes we think Jesus is the same way, when He is just the opposite - HE NEVER REMEMBERS!
ILLUS. There is an old gospel song that says when we get to heaven and say to Jesus, forgive me for my sins, He will respond by saying, "What sins are you talking about, I don't remember them anymore! From the book of life they've all been torn out. I DON'T REMEMBER THEM ANYMORE!"
(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
NOTE - He never gets tired of forgiving us for the same old sin, committed over and over and over, because He has chosen to forget it each time! EACH TIME WE CONFESS IT IS THE FIRST TIME! HALLELUJAH!
IV. Jesus Helps You Through Your Daily Life!
(1 John 5:4-5 KJV) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1. He helps us overcome our weakness.
(Rom 7:24-25 KJV) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
2. He helps us stay saved! (i.e. He keeps us - eternal security)
(Jude 1:24 KJV) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
3. He helps us by praying for us.
(Heb 7:25 KJV) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
V. Jesus Strengthens You When You Get To The End Of Your Rope!
(Phil 4:13 KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
ILLUS. In my senior year at Waterloo High School, I went out for the track team. I had no previous involvement in sports, so it was a rather mediocre performance that I gave, but I wanted to have the experience of it, anyway. I remember running in a relay. The baton was handed to me and I took off running like crazy. About 2/3 of the way through my leg of the relay, though, a curious and disquieting thing happened. MY BODY QUIT WORKING! Suddenly, I felt that I had absolutely no strength left, AT ALL! It was an amazing feeling. I felt as if my body was simply flying along on sheer momentum, but that I did not have the means to lift one leg even one more time! Somehow, I managed to make it to the handoff zone, but I collapsed just as the next runner took the baton. It was sometime before I could manage to move again! Since that time I've come to understand that it was a common occurrence in out of shape, unprepared people, who try to do athletic things. In some circles, it is called "bonking." It is the phenomenon that occurs when the energy level in your muscle cells is at zero (usually because of long depletion without sufficient replenishment, such as in distance events), and the muscles simply shut down.
1. Sometimes we come to the end of ourselves spiritually.
ILLUS. Elijah under the Juniper tree.
(1 Ki 19:4 KJV) But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
2. At such times, we find the strength that only comes from Christ.
(1 Ki 19:5 KJV) And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
QUOTE - "Courage is not having the strength to go on. Courage is going on when you have no strength."
VI. Jesus Believes In You!
1. Enough to let you serve Him (and have a job all prepared for you from eternity past!)
(Eph 2:8-9 KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2. Enough to entrust YOU with the gospel!
(1 Cor 4:1 KJV) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
ILLUS. It makes a lasting impression on us when somebody believes in us. I remember when I passed my written examination for my temporary driver's license. I was just 16. Upon exiting the examination bureau, to my great delight and surprise, my mother handed me the keys to the car, and asked if I would like to drive. She believed in me… I've never forgotten that.
VII. Jesus Is Waiting For You!
(John 14:1-3 KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1. Hebrews 12 pictures a "great crowd of witnesses", cheering us on in the Christian race.
2. I have loved ones in that crowd, and they are waiting for me. I look forward to seeing them.
3. All that pales in comparison, though, to my greatest fan - JESUS!
ILLUS. The father of the prodigal watched for his return, until seeing him afar off, he ran to meet him! So Jesus waits for me.
(John 15:11 KJV) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
QUOTE - (John C. Wheeler) "Now that I know Christ, I'm happier when I'm sad than I was before when I was glad."
Is your life characterized by such a joy? If not, try reminding yourself of these wonderful and simple truths:
May you have the joy of Christ in your life today, and always!
Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.