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HOW CAN I EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF JEHOVAH IN MY LIFE?

Psalms 16:11 (NASV) “11  You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

While Psalms 16 primarily applies to Jesus;  as His body members, we share in these promises. 

Our Lord has shown us that the narrow way is the path to life and that if faithful, in heaven we will share with Jesus in the pleasures of blessing mankind on earth forever.   In the next few minutes, we would like to consider how we experience fullness of joy.

 PATH TO LIFE A PATH TO JOY

As the Psalmist indicates, this “fullness of Joy” is experienced by those on “the path of life.”

 Although the fullness of joy in its deepest sense is reserved for (heaven) beyond the veil, there is also a present fullness of joy now as we now enjoy God’s favor, while walking in the path of obedience and loving service.   In  John 14:23, Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.”

Joy comes when we have a clear direction or purpose from God for our life.

Psalms 119:110-112 (NKJV)  “110  … I have not strayed from Your precepts.  111   Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.  112  I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.”

There is a great satisfaction and JOY that comes with following God’s laws.   Jesus explains it this way.

John 15:10-11 (NKJV) “10  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  11  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

There is no greater place to live than in the center of God’s will.  There is no way to be in the center of his will without living according to the word of God.   An honest Biblical life leads to a joyful spiritual  life.

EXAMPLES OF JOY

There is no shortage of examples in the Bible of those who experienced joy.

Job 38:7 (NKJV) speaks of the time “When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy”

Imagine in the dawn of creation how the angels shouted for joy over the success of preparing our planet for human habitation.

Luke 2:10-11 (NKJV) “ 10  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  11  “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Hence, Christ our Savior is the foundation of our joy and as well as for the future joy  of all mankind in the coming earthly kingdom.

GOD’S PROMISES BRING JOY

The New Creature experiences a joy and rejoicing that the natural mind cannot understand or appreciate.   In moments of great trial, when the natural man faints under the weight of human hardship, God’s children call to mind His promises. 

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”  

Philippians 4:7 (NAS) says that, “… the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   

In the severest of trials, we can be encouraged by God’s promises provide us with a great peace that surpasses all human comprehension.

When our faith grasps God’s promise and holds it, the realization of joy in the Lord is sure to follow.  The more firmly our faith lays hold upon God’s promises, the more we will realize its fulfilment, and the more fully will joy abound; for in the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy, no matter what may be the conditions and circumstances.

WORLDLY JOY IS FICKLE AND TEMPORARY

We need to distinguish Godly JOY from worldly joy.  Worldly Joy Is fickle and temporary.

Our JOY in the Lord is not a JOY in temporary and unsatisfactory earthly possessions, or earthly hopes or ambitions which are so changeable that a single blast of adversity may sweep them all from us.  Rather, we have the present JOYS of hope and faith in the things unseen, but sure and eternal.

WE CAN EXPERIENCES JOY EVEN IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITY

Yet what of the trials, suffering, hardships and disappointments we experience as part of the fallen human condition?  How can JOY prevail over these formidable obstacles?

2 Cor 4:17-18 (NKJV) “17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,   18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

The Apostle Paul councils us to count the things of the present life as NOT worthy of comparison with the glories of eternity.   When our minds are focused on the Lord, and we take the proper view of our experiences, we can sing with the poet:

                “No storm can shake our inmost calm,

                While to this Refuge clinging.”

Hebrews 12:11 (NASV) “11  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. “

So even though these experiences may bring sorrow, if Christian growth results, God’s intended purpose is accomplished.

JOY IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON CIRCUMSTANCES

JOY is not dependent upon circumstances.  Even when undergoing the severest trial, we can experience JOY.

In Luke 6:22-23 (NASV) Jesus said,  “22  “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.  23  “Be glad in that day and leap for JOY, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

The assurance that God will reward us for faithfulness brings us a measure of comfort and JOY In the midst of our trials and persecutions.

James 1:2-3 (Amplified) “2   Consider it wholly JOYFUL, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in {or} encounter trials of any sort {or} fall into various temptations.  3  Be assured {and} understand that the trial {and} proving of your faith bring out endurance {and} steadfastness {and} patience.

Understanding that our trials are for the purpose of developing our character brings a measure of JOY when we see the LORD’s loving hand guiding us through the necessary experiences to grow the fruits of the spirit in our hearts and minds.

Yes, we can be assured that JOY is not dependent upon circumstances.

Further, the Apostle Paul exclaimed, “

Rom. 8:33-39 (KJV) “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Apostle Paul’s confident faith gave him JOY in the midst of all his tribulations. His faith laid hold upon the promises of God with a strong and steady grasp.  Love and gratitude impelled him to prompt obedience to the will of God and intense zeal in his service, even in spite of the harshest of circumstances.

JOYFUL IN AFFLICTION

We can be joyful in affliction.  From the world’s point of view, the Apostle Paul wasted his gifts and opportunities.   He was poor, homeless, persecuted and even abandoned by brethren.  Yet Paul expresses his point of view in

2 Cor 7:4 (NAS), “I am filled with comfort. I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.”

We too can find hope and courage to keep us thankful and joyful in the severest of trials as we are inspired by God’s promises and strengthened by the experiences he directs in our lives.

CIRCUMSTANCES CANNOT TAKE AWAY OUR JOY

Not only can we be assured that JOY is not dependent upon circumstances, but we can also be assured that circumstances cannot take away our JOY.

In 2 Cor 6:10 (NKJV) Paul describes himself “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”  This means that even when we are in the midst of a situation that legitimately brings us sorrow, our inner JOY is never taken away.  The very core of our being can still rejoice in the fact that we are forgiven children of God who enjoy an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.  Our JOY is strengthened when we remember that, no matter what the circumstances, God is with us and He is above all.

1 Thess  5:16-18, (NKJV) “16   Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“

Notice how rejoicing is accompanied by prayer and a thankful spirit.  With these aids, circumstances cannot take away our JOY.

JOY IN OUR REQUESTS TO GOD

John 16:24  “Ask and Ye Shall Receive, that Your Joy may be Full”

How is it that making requests in prayer brings us joy?  Notice what John says:

John 15:7 – “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.”

It is when we are of one mind with the Lord and make requests according to his will that he blesses us and we will thereby be filled with joy.  Our requests are not for selfish gain, but rather for spiritual aid for ourselves and our brethren and for spiritual strength to better serve our heavenly Father.

Along with our requests, the cultivation of the spirit of praise, thanksgiving and loving appreciation of all the manifest goodness of God, is the New Creatures secret of a happy life.

JOYS OF CONSECRATION

F677 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

“…those who have not consecrated themselves… are apt to consider that in this sacrifice every joy is lost.  But every member of the New Creation knows the contrary…-that though some earthly joys, once held very dear, are sacrificed one by one, in their places come heavenly joys that far more than compensate for the loss.  As our Lord again said, “Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” (John 16:20)”

F678 But blessings come through all such tears and sorrows and disappointments– the blessings of a realization of divine approval, a joy superior to that of the natural man, the joys of the Lord, fellowship and communion with the Father.

There could be no such joys were it not for our blessed hopes.  If our joys were dependent upon circumstances of this life merely, we should be without joy; and, as the Apostle has declared, be “of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15:19) It is when hope has laid firm hold upon the exceeding great and precious promises of God’s Word, that joys spring up as flowers in a desert, vivified by our tears– such flowers of joy and blessing as the poor world in its wilderness condition could not produce or imagine. … By divine arrangement the joy which springs into being through the implanted hopes and prospects must be nourished by prayer,and by activity in the Lord’s service. “

FOLLOWING JESUS’ EXAMPLE

Hebrews 12 (NASV)

1 … let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

 

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