Wednesday, July 11, 2018

You Can Have The World, I'll Take Jesus!

If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. 
John 15:10-11

Have you ever wondered why there is so much suicide, divorce, and addiction among the rich and famous? In a world of unprecedented prosperity and luxury—a world full of endless possibilities, of boundless accomplishment and breathtaking advances—human reasoning tells us that there should be great joy throughout the world. On the contrary, however, depression, hopelessness, despair and suicide are commonplace. Materialism and man's obsession with the accumulation of physical things has never led to anything but temporary happiness followed by increased disappointment and sorrow. The hope of salvation and the wonderful promises that God has set before us is where true, lasting joy is based; not on material accumulation, nor in extraordinary physical accomplishments, but:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
 (Romans 15:13)

Only by seeing beyond ourselves and our cares can we possess Godly joy or gladness of heart.

Joy is a quality of gladness, delight, and jubilance. The spiritual fruit of joy and the emotion of happiness are not the same. Each springs from a different source. Happiness comes from the world around you and is dependent upon your circumstances; it's emotional.  Joy originates with the Spirit of God and is not dependent upon outward circumstances.

Jesus Christ brought joy at His birth. And the angel said unto them: 

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:10-11)

It is God's desire that you have joy . . .

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:11)

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (John 17:13)

The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Ghost: 

And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
(Acts 13:52)

The believer's source of joy is not in worldly things but in God. 

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:11)

Because your joy is spiritual and not dependent on outward circumstances you can rejoice in temptation. 

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

You can also rejoice in tribulation [difficult times]: 

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. (II Corinthians 7:4)

You are to be longsuffering with joy. . . 

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:11)

Joy is part of the Kingdom of God . . . 

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)

The Bible encourages believers to be joyful and express this joy unto 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)

Just as we do not sorrow as the world sorrows, our joy is not characteristic of worldly joy.

That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? (Job 20:5)

They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:13) 
Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.  (Proverbs 15:21)

Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every corn floor.  (Hosea 9:1)

Carnal joy is temporary because it is based in self-centeredness. By the lifestyles of the average, unconverted person, we can easily see that they live their lives up and down dependent upon their current situation.  But God tells His people not to rejoice like the world. In their up moments, pride and arrogance prevail.  It is better to have sorrow in humility than joy in pride. 

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  (James 4:8-10) 

The ancient Israelites expressed joy by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and shouting at victory celebrations, festivals, sacrifices and coronations. Gladness and joy are blessings from God. Gladness is the experience of pleasure, joy, or delight, resulting from happiness and joy. 

Joy is a quality, not simply an emotion, 
grounded upon God Himself and derived from Him. 

 It should characterize our lives as Christians. 

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. (I Samuel 18:6)

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy. (I Chronicles 15:16)

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. (Ezra 3:12-12)

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
(Psalms 27:6)

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
Psalms 32:10-11

The term "morning stars" is a biblical term for angels who express joy when events in God's plan unfold. Not only God but also angels are thrilled when a sinner repents of his worldly ways. Prayer for forgiveness brings about joyous repentance and restoration of righteousness in a person's life. 

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
 (Job 38:4-7)

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:10-14)

There is joy in heaven. 

He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. (Job 33:26)

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:7-10)

This world and everything in it is temporal.  Our emotions based on these temporal things are fleeting.  The joy of the Lord is everlasting both in this world and in eternity with Him!

(Biblical Studies)


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