Joy



Joy

Reading:
Isaiah Chapter 35

Joy = A deep emotion of pleasure, gladness, a thing that causes delight.

1. Introduction

We live in a world of fear, frustration, sickness, sorrow and death; a world of mounting misery. True, lasting joy is only known by a few souls on earth in comparison to the desperately unhappy multitudes. The question is:

Where can true, lasting Joy be found?

2. A Spiritual Fruit

This Sabbath I hope to trace the path to true Joy. To begin with I'll not confuse ‘true joy’ with sexual thrills, ecstatic experiences or drug-induced ‘hyper sensations’ of the mind or body. Momentary physical or mental ecstasy is not what I am taking about this morning. My subject is ‘true Joy;’ the deep and lasting emotion of pleasure and gladness that causes delight to an individual's spirit and soul, which of course includes the mind. The Bible says that ‘Joy’ is a fruit of theHoly Spirit.
Galatians 5: 22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23: Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Psalm 16: 11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

True joy, in other words comes from Yahweh and no other source. It is a divine product. It is found in His presence. Man is no more able to produce true joy than he is able to produce an apple from anything but an apple tree. Yahweh is a Tree of Life; and joy is something He alone produces. No one can duplicate this holy fruit of joy. One either obtains it from Him or does without. Every imitation soon becomes apparent. In fact no one is able to duplicate any of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace etc., all of these fruits are products of the Holy Spirit. They cannot be duplicated by men or angels. They are products of the Almighty's Spirit: and if we want them, we must go to Him. No other course will work.

3. Preliminaries to true Joy

True joy, as I've stated already, is a spiritual fruit. Before it can be acquired you must follow a specific course. Shortcuts do not exist. Briefly here is that course:

Repentance / Forgiveness

The first step towards true joy is repentance and forgiveness. No matter how sinful you may have been, before you can have real peace and joy you must be forgiven of your sins. Yahweh is willing to forgive you - if you want forgiveness. But you must repent of your sins first. Forgiveness is then guaranteed, no matter how bad those sins may be.
Isaiah 1: 18: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19: If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Salvation

The process of repentance, forgiveness, faith and obedience etc. is called salvation. Salvation is found in the Almighty. He offers you salvation - free of charge! Carefully consider your own salvation. You ignore it at your peril.

Isaiah 12: 2: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
3: Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

In addition to salvation from sin and death - eternal death - Yahweh offers you enormous blessing. His list of benefits is long to say the least. Here is a short list from the Saviour's Sermon on the Mount as recorded in (Matthew chapter 5).

Blessing

Verses 3: & 5: Inheritance: ... The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Verse 4: Comfort: ... A permanent end to all sorrow.
Verse 6: Satisfaction: ... Spiritual nourishment unlimited.
Verse 7: Mercy: ... No more guilt and no more sin.
Verse 8: Meeting God: ... They shall see God.
Verse 9: Adoption: ... They shall be called the Sons of God.
Verse 10: Inheritance: ... Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Verse 11: Fellowship: ... Put in the same class with prophets of old.
Verses 13: & 14: Highly Evaluated: ... Ye are the salt of the earth: ... Verse 14: Ye are the light of the world.
Are you able to grasp the enormity of these blessings? I am sure you cannot. I certainly cannot. But I believe them none the less. Join me.

4. The Joy of Obedience

Obedience brings in its train deep and lasting joy. Like a powerful current, obedience moves the soul into areas of joy not experienced by the persistent sinner. Look at these examples which prove that Yahweh makes obedient souls joyful.
Ecclesiastes 2: 26: For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ezra 6: 19: And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.
20: For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21: And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,
22: And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Nehemiah 12: 43: Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
Psalm 16: 11: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

5. The Joy of Sacrifice

At first sight sacrifice and joy appear to be opposites. How can they coexist? How can one give up something precious and be happy at the same time? It is only when we consider the final outcome of a sacrifice that this point can be appreciated. Like the Master we must look ahead at the joy to come.
Hebrews 12: 2: 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.

6. Joy after Suffering

Suffering and sacrifice are painful. But if we continue to be faithful, Yahweh has scheduled that a compensating joy will follow allsuffering. This fact is as true for spiritual Israel (all believers in Yeshua) as it is for the blood-born sons and daughters of Jacob.
James 1: 1: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Jeremiah 31: 10: Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
11: For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
12: Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
13: Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14: And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

1 Peter 4: 12: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

7. Eternal Joy

Will true joy ever end? Or is it a passing thing, here today and gone tomorrow? I am delighted to announce that according to Bible prophecy true joy for the believer is not only scheduled to increase, but it is to last forever - for all time! It is quite impossible for the present human mind to fully appreciate this prophesied fact. But it is true nonetheless.
Isaiah 35: 10: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Isaiah 66: 5: Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”

8. Summary


1 John 1: 3: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4: And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”


AMEN!

In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Elder:
Max W. Mader

www.avoiceinthewilderness.org
www.avitw.ca