Friday, December 8, 2017

The Joy of the Lord







But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  Psalms 5:11









How often do we measure our happiness against the accumulation of material or natural things - a wonderful marriage, great career, wealth, etc.?  All of these things are temporal and come and go; sometimes with no warning.  The pleasures, riches, power, and fame of this world may give us happiness for a season, but it is God who grants us joy. 

To hear, know, comprehend and do the word of God is a joyful situation.  We celebrate the hidden treasure found in the word of God.  It is in and through the word of God that we find our way to peace and joy.

And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.  And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.  Nehemiah 8:9-12

The joy that God gives is distinctive from the temporal happiness that the world allows.  

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God.  This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. Ecclesiastes 2:26

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:19

When we adhere to the will of God, though we may sometimes suffer because of it, God promises us eternal joy with God:

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord   Matthew 25:21

Joy strengthens us when it results from our relationship with our Creator, who gives it to us as a reward for repentance, humility, trust and faithfulness: 

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. II Chronicles 20:27

And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.  Ezra 6:22

Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.  Nehemiah 12:4

God promises his servants:

Ø  Joy that only He can give:

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. Isaiah 65:13-14

Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.  Jeremiah 31:13

Ø  Joy that the world cannot take away:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.  John 16:20-22

Godly unity produces joy because it overcomes the sorrow of self-seeking and fulfills the true love of outgoing concern for others. Joy through unity comes when God's people have all things in common—the same beliefs and desires working toward a common goal.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  Psalms 133:1

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:42-47

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. I Corinthians 12:26

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2

Our joy through trials is a result of suffering for Christ's sake. Of the persecution we must endure, Jesus says, "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!"

Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.  Luke 6:23

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. II Corinthians 8:2

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:9-11

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. I Thessalonians 1:6

For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Hebrews 10:34

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  James 1:2

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  I Peter 4:12-13

Through the Holy Spirit,  God gives us His gift of joy as part of the process of spiritual completion.  The Joy that God gives is the strength that keeps us from day to day and allows us to endure knowing that we will one day have eternal joy with Jesus in Heaven.


(Biblical Studies)

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