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Eli_Barnabas
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah

 The Joy of the Lord

I know many silly Christians.
I know very few joyful Christians.
I know many silly unbelievers.
I know very few joyful Christians.

What is joy and where does it come from?

[i]"Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance."[/i] - Acts 2:28

There is no shortage of talking of joy in the Church today, but no greater lack of the real substance of true joy. This joy... this true joy that wrought forward our Savior's resolve, [i]"who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."[/i] Can we honestly say we possess this joy? Does this joy cause us to despise shame, to take up our cross and follow Jesus? I suggest it does not. We do not have this joy, that is why it is so difficult for us to die to ourselves... we take more delight in the flesh than in the spiritual promises that follow. What presumption!

We must first understand the nature of joy. [i]"...the joy of the Lord is my strength."[/i] We have heard that. Are you living that? Understand this:

This is the joy of the Lord: [b]The Lord's joy[/b]. The joy of the Lord is the Lord's joy! It sounds so simple... have we missed this? For so long we have consented to the idea that an abundance of silliness is the joy of the Lord. If a person is smiling and laughing and funny, we say: "Wow! That person is so full of joy!" Quite the contrary. Silliness is almost always a result of joy deficiency, used to replace the precious joy in which we so desperately lack. If we truly had the joy of the Lord we would have no need to be silly. We would be satisfied in the Lord, not needing to be 'entertained' by such trivial worldliness. Honestly, are unbelievers joyful then? They do a much better job of by silly than do Christians! Be not conformed, but be tranformed!

Here is an unmistakable pattern in life and Scripture: Joy is birthed from pain. A person does not obtain joy from nothing. A mother receives joy when she gives birth to a child through much labor and pain (John 16:21). Jesus was looking forward towards the joy that awaited beyond the cross, and He told His disciples they would weep for a little while but would later rejoice. Psalm 30:5 says, [i]"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."[/i] It is in the dark times of our lives, when we weep, when we feel overwhelmed, when hope is dim... it is in these times that great victory arises and we then are flooded with joy set before us!

[i]"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness."[/i] - Psalm 30:11-12

Tell me, you Christian who excels in foolishness; do you weep? Do you groan in the Spirit? Are you a man of sorrows? Do you mourn with those who mourn? Have you ever been to lonely Gethsemane? Have you ever lived in the wilderness? Have you ever worn sackloth or adorned your head with dust? Have you ever beat your breast or tasted the bitter tears of repentance? No? Then you do not know joy. Oh, woe to the comfortable, for they have received their comfort in full... those who laugh now, they will mourn and weep (Luke 6:25). Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

It is joy unspeakable! Unspeakable! How could I express such joy with earthen language? How could I express such joy?! Oh, let those who understand rejoice and be glad!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Fullness of joy comes from the presence of the Lord (Psalm 16:11). It is not something manufactured. It does not arise from a joke or a happy tale. Joy is sown in tears. Joy is reaped in victory! [i]"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."[/i] Joy is what makes you rise up and shout "Hallelujah!" in the midst of all trouble! Joy is what makes you walk through the darkest valleys. Joy is what gives you the strength to overcome all obstacles. Joy is what says [i]"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed!"[/i] Oh, this joy is the Lord's joy! Our silliness will never give us this strength.

This joy is full of glory! It is our hope of heaven, set before us, the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, exalted to the highest place, and lover of our souls!

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote it well: [b]"Jesu, joy of man's desiring!"[/b]


_________________
Eli Brayley

 2005/11/21 14:10Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2741
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: The Joy of the Lord

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
(Joh 15:10-11)

Jesus' joy was in loving the Father and keeping His commandments. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, this same joy can be ours.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2005/11/21 14:37Profile
habakkuk3
Member



Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

Amen Ron,

And the joy is connected to the rest of the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

May the joy of the Lord rise up in our hearts as we fully submitted to the lordship of Christ.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2005/11/21 15:22Profile
Eli_Barnabas
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah

 Re:

Thank you brothers, let me say this:

If you abide with Christ you will understand what I was talking about. If you obey His Word you will understand sorrow, tears, the wilderness, loneliness, persecution... all these things come by abiding, but so does this great joy from above.

Blessings,
-Eli


_________________
Eli Brayley

 2005/11/22 10:59Profile
habakkuk3
Member



Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

Amen Eli,

I'm experiencing that in my life now. If the Lord allows, I will share more details later but it is a glorious, albeit painful place.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2005/11/22 11:28Profile









 Re:


Eli,

What a precious word. Thank you so much!!!!

InTheLight said

Quote:
Jesus' joy was in loving the Father and keeping His commandments.

There was one commandment above all others, though, which counted for joy.

John 10

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. [b]This [u]commandment[/u] have I received of my Father[/b].

 2005/11/22 11:52
shibu
Member



Joined: 2003/9/13
Posts: 230
Goa, India

 Re:

Acts 5:41 "The apostles went out of the High Council [b]overjoyed[/b] because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name." Do we joyfully esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (world)?

Rejoicing that they (early apsotles) were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name is a response that would be unusual for some christians today. Jesus does not guarantee perpetual happiness if we agree to serve Him, but He promise us a joy that is "inexpressible and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8)

In Him,
Shibu


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Shibu Clement

 2005/11/22 12:02Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2741
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
If you abide with Christ you will understand what I was talking about. If you obey His Word you will understand sorrow, tears, the wilderness, loneliness, persecution... all these things come by abiding, but so does this great joy from above.



Amen, I am reminded of...

[i]Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.[/i](Heb 12:1-2)

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2005/11/22 12:29Profile
Eli_Barnabas
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah

 Re:

Amen, thank you for all these great replies.
-Eli


_________________
Eli Brayley

 2005/11/22 12:32Profile





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