August 2, 2015
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
The Joy of the God!
All scripture is from the NIV Bible
Psalm 51:12; 98:4; 27:6
Isaiah 35:10
John 15:5-11
Jude 24-25

“Joyful, Joyful…”

Prayer for God’s Word to be heard through me…

Psalm 98:4New International Version (NIV)
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;

I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…down in my heart…down in my heart…
I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…down in my heart to stay.
And I’m so happy, so very happy I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy, so very happy I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
(Every body!)

Joy noun \ˈjȯi\
: a feeling of great happiness
: a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
: success in doing, finding, or getting something

Full Definition of JOY
1       a :  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :  delight
b :  the expression or exhibition of such emotion :  gaiety
2       :  a state of happiness or felicity :  bliss
3       :  a source or cause of delight
I have this coffee cup that I like to start my mornings with. It says “Today is a Good Day”…but the other part of the saying is “to have a good day.” I choose to have a good day no matter what else is happening. It doesn’t always work out like that but at least I try… I want my days to be filled with joy. But I must make that choice to have a day filled with joy…regardless of what may be going on it my life. Joy is a choice we each can choose. We can choose anger and resentment or forgiveness and joy. Joy truly is a choice…as well as an action we take when we choose it…

We are continuing our journey of the many facets of salvation. We have been talking about the word salvation and what it really means.  For not just Christians but for humanity.
1.   the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2.   the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3.   a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
4.   Theology. deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

We have talked about the grace that we receive from God within salvation. The grace freely given to us even though we don’t deserve it but it is through the blood of Jesus that we receive this incredible gift. We know that we are chosen by God and are adopted by Him through the blood that was poured down a wooden cross on a hill for you and for me. We have rejoiced in the fact that we are delivered from sin and death through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. How awesome it is that we receive love and mercy, joy and hope… hope that is not defined by our circumstances but is defined by our great and loving God…through the blood of Jesus Christ.

This wonderful gift of salvation should fill us with joy but sometimes…well…that joy just isn’t there. We have so many things that go on in our lives that we just can’t muster up even the slightest bit of joy. How could we feel joy in the world in which we live? There is not much to be joyful about with all this crime and addiction going on in the world around us. Where is the joy in that?

Church…you can have the joy of the Lord if you choose to…we can have over abounding joy as we ponder the fact that we have a great God who has control over all…even when we don’t see it. Let’s see what scripture tells us about joy:
John 15:5-11New International Version (NIV)
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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.

We have the joy of knowing we are dearly loved by God that is seen as we remain in Jesus and trusting His word.
Psalm 27:6New International Version (NIV)

6 Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.
We have joy in knowing that if God is for us…who can be against us. As we give our day…as we give our battles…as we give our lives to God, He will be faithful to keep us safe…even when we can’t see Him working…

Isaiah 35:10New International Version (NIV)

10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
As we trust in God, we can have joy in knowing…this too shall pass…and that God will bring us in from exile…from that desert place we may be walking a pilgrimage through.

I was reading “The Work of God” (Bible and what it said about joy was pretty interesting…
“Joy that is a fruit of God's Spirit has its roots in the realization of God's purpose and its outworking that transforms us into His image. Biblical joy begins when God calls, and we hear the gospel, understand and believe it.
Biblical joy is bound up in our relationship with God and our understanding of what is happening to our minds. We walk to the beat of a different drummer than this world because we understand God's overall purpose. We know we have been forgiven and have a place in His purpose because we now have His Spirit. No more life-changing experience can ever happen to a human than when God calls and understanding dawns. It forever alters our perspective on life itself and on the things we formerly trusted to give us satisfaction.”
(And I love this part)
“Therefore…our joys must arise from yielding to fulfill God's great creative purpose and seeing it accomplished. This is why we were born! Because of this, we can look forward to hearing Him say:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21)”
Joy is a choice…joy is about trusting in God and His goodness…true…real joy has nothing to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our relationship with God.

Joy…it is a choice. When we are feeling “joyless” are we going to go with that feeling or are we going to cry out to God as in Psalm 51:12:
Psalm 51:12New International Version (NIV)
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Restore my…restore our joy…the joy we once had…the joy that overcomes all obstacles…the joy that is only found in God through our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. How will you respond when you are feeling all is lost and there just is no more joy in your life? Will you agree with Jude when he penned?
Jude 24-25New International Version (NIV)
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!
Will you sing:
I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…down in my heart to stay.
And I’m so happy, so very happy I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy, so very happy I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart



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