JOY What produces joy in a Christian's life? Happiness is often confused with joy but it is so very different. Happiness is usually realized when we are content with material things or pleasing situations in our lives. It can change in proportion to how pleased we are with those things. Joy on the other hand comes from within a contented heart and is not dependent on things or situations. One can be very poor and without material possessions or very ill and feel much pain, but still have an abundance of joy! Amazing isn't it? Christians who suffered in concentration camps have often said that it was the joy of the presence of the Lord that sustained them during difficult times. Joy is like a fountain of water coming from the inside of a person. True joy is a gift of God Himself. It is His blessing. Joy comes from within when we walk with God and obey Him and it is often displayed on the outside of a person too. Proverbs 15:13 says, "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face."
God's Word says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength!" So it is not only seen by others on your face but it is strength that helps you in all parts of daily life! God also gives a promise in Deut. 33:25, "As your days, so shall your strength be." That means that God's strength that comes from the joy of the Lord is unending. It is replenished on a daily basis...in abundance and running over because the source of joy is God Himself!! These are promises in God's Word. We can depend on them.
This coming Sunday, I plan to preach on entering into the joy of the Lord. We, as Christians, must be joyfully obedient to our Father, so we can enter into His joy and make it the daily dwelling place of our inmost being! Joy is contagious so share it. You will be glad you did because your joy will double as you share with others. Joyfully, Pastor Jack