The Weapon Of Joy

Series: Emotions. James Dewhurst September 6, 2020


The Weapon Of Joy

For weeks now, we have identified some of the most prevalent and powerful emotions that have been influencing the lives of so many over the past several months. But what about the emotions that have been missing? The emotions that we haven’t experienced for so long, we almost forgot what they feel like? What about the emotion called JOY?

We are living in a time when we’re asked to feel too much all the time, from a constant flow of fear and anxiety, streaming at us 24/7. People are struggling with numbness!

For most of us, Joy is a “long time, no see” emotion, that’s been missing for months!

Joy is defined as: A feeling of great pleasure or happiness, caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. A settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.

Joy is not like happiness, which is based solely upon favorable circumstances. Joy is a supernatural emotion that remains in the life of a believer in spite of their circumstances!

James 1:2

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (ESV)

Hebrews 12:2

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (ESV)

The great Billy Sunday – “If you have no Joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.”

Another person said – “Joy is the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

Someone else said – “Joy is not the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”

A wise person – “Wherever Joy doesn’t happen, it has to be chosen.”

The Book of Philippians is known as the happiest book in the Bible! The words “Joy” and “Rejoice” occur more frequently in Philippians, than in any other book in the New Testament. And guess what? It was written by the apostle Paul from a prison cell. How? Paul found a joy that was immovable and unshakeable because it was rooted in Christ!

Genesis 2:18

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)

Acts 2:2

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (ESV)

Joy is not an emotion that’s based upon your condition but on your position!

Your circumstances may determine your happiness, but they don’t determine your joy!

Psalm 118:24

24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)

Isaiah 55:12

12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (ESV)

Psalm 30:5

5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (ESV)

Romans 14:17

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

Misery not only loves the company, but it despises anyone who refuses to join!

Sometimes to cultivate and keep joy, you’ve got to shrink your circle!

Mark 5:35-42

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. (ESV)

In this story, Jesus decided to cultivate some joy by performing a miracle for a broken father by the name of Jarius. The problem was, he had some opposing opinions!

The weepers and wailers, began mocking Jesus over his perspective and plan.

What did Jesus do? He kicked the mockers and wailers out of the house, and invited in 3 guys who wanted the same outcome he wanted.

What was the outcome? 4 like-minded men of faith raised a 12 year old back to life!

Jesus knew that joy would never return until he cleared the house and shrunk the circle!

Misery turns into miracles and weeping into walking, when faith comes together!

Philippians 2:2

2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (ESV)

You will never possess joy, staying surrounded by people who embrace misery!

Paul addresses the consequences of the company we keep in: 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

The phrase “yoked together with unbelievers”, means to be paired up or partnered with someone who is different, dissimilar or incompatible with your belief system.

The reason this matters so much is because two different visions, leads to di-vision!

When you travel with people who don’t want what you want, they pull you down!

The biggest threat to your joy, is remaining in the presence of people who have none!

God doesn’t want his children living miserable, joyless lives!

Isaiah 61:1-4

1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (ESV)

1. Joy comes from Salvation!

(Joy is not just an emotion, it is a spiritual weapon!)

The Biblical phrase, “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength” is one of the most quoted, declarations in the Bible. There are worship songs written about it, and posted notes plastered on bathroom windows all over. Where did it come from? What does it mean? How does it give us strength? Context is King! When the Israelites were returning to Jerusalem from exile, after Nehemiah rebuilt the walls, Nehemiah and Ezra gathered the people they started reading God’s law. The Israelites were overwhelmed with sorrow and condemnation since their lives failed to meet God’s law, that they began weeping.

Instead of condemning them, Israel was told in: Nehemiah 8:9-10 (NIV) “Do not mourn or weep… Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

(Joy became a weapon that silenced condemnation!)

Despite their failures, Israel was God’s possession, and he loved them anyway!

Joy didn’t come from Israel’s record, it came from their reunion with Christ!

Sin, sorrow and sickness may be present, but – The Joy of the Lord, is our strength!

2. Joy comes from Significance!

(The great purpose of life is a life of great purpose!)

*Show me a person without a purpose, and I will show you a person without Joy!*

When we accept Christ, he gives us a new purpose and calling that means everything!

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”(Your purpose is to share your story of redemption!)

But many of us, sadly, become like Paul’s sidekick Demas, in: 2 Timothy 4:10 “for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.”

Demas deserted his destiny trying to chase the world. (Sin steals our significance!)

The moment we stop wandering, and start walking in our purpose, Joy returns!

3. Joy comes from Security!

(Jesus isn’t security from storms, he’s security in storms)

Jesus declared over us in: John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (Joy comes from security in Christ!)

The Christian cannot be unjustified any more than Christ can be uncrucified!

Joy returns when we are free from the worries of life, and from the fear of death!

Christians are the ones who should fear death the least because of our eternal home!