Feb 10, 2016, 10:26 AM
UNDERSTANDING THE BELIEVERS JOY WORLD
The Gospel According to Luke chapter 2 verse 10 and 11.
And the Angel said to them do not be afraid. For behold I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people. For today in the City of David is born for you a savior who is Christ the Lord.
Psalms 5:12; “For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O Lord, Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield.” Isaiah 61:7; “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in land. Everlasting joy will be theirs.
The relevance of“Joy” as a Christmas message.
Yes it is Christmas again. And it is time to Celebrate with friends, families and neighbors, but these days as we tune on our news Channels, the events reported in and around us do not always call for celebration. All around the world we are witnessing or about to witness one calamity or the other. The poor are getting poorer. While those in the medical field are still struggling to find cure to various illnesses like Cancer, diabetes, tuberculoses, etc.Yet still every day, more deadly and unknown killer disease are been reportedly found.
The political scene is no different as leaders try desperately to stir away their countries from conflict, however personal ambitions, ego and other ambiguous interest forces them to take decision that eventually leads to more anguish, anxiety and distress.
It is in the midst of all these that we Christians are called upon to reflect on this special gift at Christmas. The “gift of Joy” the presence of joy is valuable more than anything else in this world especially in the times that we are.
As we enter into a new year it is traditional to be expectant of better things to come but in the event that one witnesses the opposite, the Christian believer should be aware that he or she has been armed with this blessing of Joy.
Psalm 16:11; “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psalm 30:5. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime, Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.”
Today we live in a world where entertainment earns more income than the manufacturing industry. The more prosperous a nation is, the more the need for entertainment. Most times the object and subject of this entertainment defies moral logic. Is it a search for happiness? Does their wealth not give them happiness? Why do we have high rate of suicide related deaths among those in the entertainment world? Those who seek to provide happiness to others are not themselves happy?More than ever before why is there too much drug addiction today.In spite of the 21st century advances in all aspect of human endeavor mankind still perform primitive act of cruelty against fellow human beings.And why so much suicide related deaths among those that tend to entertain us and make us happy? Even though they seem to have all the things that money can buy.
The answer to those questions and many more related ones which are not yet asked here are found in the fact that true happiness or rather the Joy of the Lord as the Scripture puts it can only be found in proper knowledge of God as record in His Holy scriptures.Our Lord Himself declares to His disciples in John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace, in the world you will have tribulations but take courage I have overcome the world.”
Greek word ‘Chara’, ‘Chairo’ from where Joy comes - means to rejoice. It relates to “Charis” which means “Grace”. It appears that Joy is a direct result of God’s grace. The word ‘Chara’ also refers to gladness of heart.
1 WHAT JOY IS NOT
A.It is not Happiness induced by accomplishment or the receipt of gifts like money, position, favor, properties and even the establishment of social ties and connection in high places of this world.
B.It is not merriment found during partying or during festive mood or celebration.
C. It is not found in the singing of choruses or shouting in churches or homes. When people sing or shout excitedly does not imply that they have joy in them.
WHAT THE BELIEVERS JOY WORLD IS
1. Joy is fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian believer’s Joy is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”. When a person accepts Christ as savor the Holy spirit instantaneously plants the seed of Joy in the innermost part of his being, that is his/her soul, It is divine, it grows with the right watering and sunshinewhich is the continual intake and application of God’s word. It is resident in the soul of the believer.
2. It is developed through continual intake and application of accurate bible doctrine. St. John 15:11; “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full” As the believer continues to receive God’s word a doctrinal inventory is developed in the soul. The believer stands at an advantage to reach out at the time of crisis to the resources of scriptural principles that have been stored over time for edification, comfort and encouragement.
3. It is a command from God.Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” 1Thess 5:16; “rejoice always.”The grammar in these texts is used in the present imperative tense in Greek from which the New Testament was written. And it imply that, it is acommand to do something in the future and involved continuous and repeated action. So the question would be why are we Christian believers urged or commanded to rejoice always. The answer may be found in the fact that the source of our Joy is divine and in not conditioned by the variables of the mundane world.
4.When it is fully developed, it guards the soul against all turbulence and disaster. James 1:2-4, “Consider it all Joy my brethren when you encounter various trial. “ 2Corinth 7:4. Great is my confidence in you, great is my boasting on your behalf; I am filled with comfort. I am over-flowing with joy in all our afflictions.”
5. It is the shock absolver of the soul. It helps the soul bounce back to life immediately after each episode of shock, disappointment, failure and loss. Psalms 51:8, 12, Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice…..Restore to me the Joy of thy salvation and….” Psalm 126:5, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” St. John16:21,24 Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world….. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.
6. It is the hallmark of a mature believer. Philippians 2:17,18 “But even I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith I rejoice and share my joy with you all. And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way, share your joy with me.Heb 13:17. Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
7. It is referred to as the ‘ The Joy of the Lord’. Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go eat the fat, or drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Psalm 132:9-10; “Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy godly ones sing for joy.
8. It helps you have a taste of Heaven while still here on earth. Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”1Pet 1:8. “And though you have not seen Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory”. Jude 1:24; “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy”
9. The opposite of Joy is grief.James 4:9. ” Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.” Isaiah 9:3; “Thou shalt multiply the nation, Thou shalt increase their gladness; They will be glad in thy presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.”
BUILDING THE BELIEVERS JOY WORLD
Why must I Rejoice -Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
1. I am Redeemed. Redemption is a privilege. Phil 2:13
2. My sins are forgiven. Psalms 103:3; 86:5; Rom 4:7-8
3.I have Eternal life. It is free and permanent. St John 3:35.26; Romans 6:23.
4. God loves me. His love is an unconditional one. John 3:16: Ephesians 2:4,5.
5. God provides for me and will provide for me both in time and eternity. Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:19
6. He gives me good health.
7. He protects me from harm, enemy traps, temptations and all damages.
8. He leads me in the paths of Righteousness. Psalm 23:1-3
9. He feeds me adequately with clear and accurate doctrine. 1 Peter 2:1-2
Therefore as we celebrate the birthday of our lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Please bear in mind the purpose of His birth and reflect on those words above. That Jesus came to bring Salvation to Mankind and with that, Joy to all who believe in Him.
You can partake in the Salvation and the Joy that that Christ brings by simply acknowledging Him as your Savior.Your Sins will be forgiven and the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in you and implant that Joy in your heart.
May we use this moment to pray for our dear Country The Gambia and our Leader, The President and Commander in Chief. His Excellence Sheilk Professor, Alhaji Dr. A.J.J. JAMMEH. That God Almighty will continue to guide and direct him in all godliness as he leads this nation with the fear of God. That God will continually grant peace and prosperity to this nation.
And now I say that as you therefore embrace this joy that Christ brings at Christmas, may that joy possess your innermost being so as to produce peace and calmness of mind with which you will need in other to surmount the challenges that may come your way in the New Year 2016.I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year in advance.