Joy Comes From Choosing What Is Best © 2012 WF Cobb

I. True Joy coexists with sorrow and deprivation. Joy is an enduring expectation of optimism that all will be well, and at the moment couldn't be any better. Joy is sustainable and not subject to the law of diminishing returns Rejoicing is the expression of joy
Heb 12:2 who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame 2Cor 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;
Acts 5:41 rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. Js 1:2 count it all joy when you fall into various trials
"Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness" Tolstoy
"This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one."-G Bernard Shaw
"Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give" Eleanor Roosevelt
II. False Joy is a temporary feeling of well-being resulting from a temporal (worldly) value system Job 20:5 the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment Pr 15:21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom. See Joy Stealers

III. Joy is realized in the Presence of God who is found through obedience. Lk 24:52 worshiped him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy

Ps 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Ps 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. 3 that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that fear the LORD. Swears to his own hurt and changes not
Ecc 2:26 God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God
Jn 14:21 has my commands, obeys them...loves me: he that loves me shall be loved of my Father & I will love him, and will manifest myself to him
Js 4:4 adulterers...friendship of the world is enmity with God? be a friend of the world be enemy of God. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

IV. Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit produced just like those of the flesh. Joy is not a feeling, nor is faithfulness or self-control

Spirit of God uses the Word of God to produce in us the Mind (and actions) of Christ (set of mind, born of spiritual vs carnal values)

Gal 5:6 faith working thru love 13 liberty...don't indulge flesh...thru love serve one another 14 (love fulfills law) 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you desire. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious... immorality … hatred...anger...jealousy...those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy...24 Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.

Jesus is concerned with our Joy and has told us how to get it Jn 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you...8 Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. 10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love...11 These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you
Sourced in the HS Romans 14:17 the kingdom of God is not food and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

V. Joy Results from Choosing What Is Best {wisdom} (Phil esp 1:18; 1:4 pray 1:25 faith 2:2 unity 2:17 self-sacrifice 4:1 invest in others)
A. Joy Withered? Obedience Required Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languishes; is withered away
2:12 Turn to Me with all your heart...13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God.
Repent Truly Ps 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness bones...may rejoice. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me...
Confess and walk in the light with others 1Jn 1:4 And these things write we to you, that your joy may be full.
Humble yourself Isa 29:19 The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Be freed from sin Acts 8:8 (freed from demonic oppression in Samaria) And there was great joy in that city.
Names Written Lk 10:20 do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
Contemplate Salvation Ps 21:1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

B. Be Righteous Ps 68:3 righteous be glad; rejoice before God: exceedingly rejoice. 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, you righteous: joy...upright in heart Serve God Isa 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart
Sow Righteousness Ps 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Do what’s just Pr 21:15 It is joy to the just to do judgment
Purpose Peace Pr 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine (plow) evil: but to the counselors (purposes) of peace is joy.
C. Receive Truth Ps 43:3 Send out thy light and truth: let them lead thy holy hill, 4...unto God my exceeding joy..praise you, O God
Mine the Word Ps 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that finds great spoil/. Devour the Word Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was to me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name
Rejoice in the truth 1 Cor 13:6 Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Respond to teaching 2 Cor 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.
D. Believe Rm 15:13 God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, thru the power of the HS
Trust Ps 5:11 let all that put their trust in you rejoice: shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in you.
Rejoice in God in spite of circumstances Hab 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Ps 31:7; 32:11; 33:1,21; 35:9
Chose to be grateful Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Sing Ps 71:23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to you; and my soul, which you have redeemed.
Cultivate a fruitful prayer life Jn 16:24 you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Cultivate Dependence Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, acc to his glorious power, to all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness
E. Discipline your children Pr 17:21...father of a fool has no joy. 23:24 father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: wise son shall have joy
Build your marriage Pr 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth
F. Pursue Unity John 17:13 these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Get good counsel Pr 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
Honor Others 1 Cor 12:26 whether one member suffer, all suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Say the right thing Pr 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
Elect good government Pr 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.
G. Give Sacrificially 2Cor 8:1 grace 2 very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 gave even beyond their ability...pleaded with us for the privilege 5 gave themselves first to the Lord, then by the will of God to us.
Give with a perfect heart 1Chron 29:9 people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD
Sacrifice Neh 12:43 Also that day they offered greatsacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy
H. Value Maturity and Reward Js 1:2 count it all joy when you fall into rials 3 knowing..produces...9...rejoice in that he is exalted:
Heb 10:34...took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that you have in heaven a better and enduring substance
Rm 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Acts 5:41 rejoicing that they worthy to suffer shame
Reap Reward Mt 25:21 Well done, good and faithful servant: you has been faithful over a few..ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of thy lord
Lk 6:23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for your reward is great in heaven: for so their fathers treated the prophets.
Hope of Glory Rm 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Is 61:7 For your shame...double; for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion...they shall possess double: everlasting joy shall be to them
1Pt 1:6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations :(1:18)
Suffer purposefully 1 Pt 4:13 are partakers of Christ's sufferings, when his glory is revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.
I. Endure persecution Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Endure tribulation Rm 5:1-11 but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Joy is a result of a painful process Jn 16:20 you shall weep and lament, you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 22 And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.
Defeat Demons Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
J. Disciplemake 1Thess 2:19 what is our hope, or joy, or crown of in the presence of our Lord at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy. 3:9 what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God
Philemon 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Jn 4:36 he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit unto life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together
Col 2:5 absent in the flesh, I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
1Thess3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
2Jn 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
3 Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth.
Difficulties that cause other’s growth Jn 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe;
2 Cor 7:9 I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner
Help folks who want to grow Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
K. Seek God’s Character Ps 105:3 Glory you in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
1Chron 16:10 Glory in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 2 Chron 6:41...let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
Ps 40:16 Let all those that seek you rejoice and be glad in you: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
God’s Mercy Ps 90:14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
God’s Sovereignty Ps 97:1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad.
God’ Holiness Ps 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
God’s Justice Ps 67:4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations
God’s Vengeance Ps 58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

God’s Helpfulness Ps 63:7 Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Hear of God’s work Acts 15:3 they passed...declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy to all the brethren.
Consider God’s Works Lk 19:37...the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen Ps 86:4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. How does joy differ from happiness? Is joy a feeling, an emotion, or what? Can emotions be commanded? Should joy be continual?
2. Is there anything wrong w/ having your joy dependent upon anything temporal or external? How do being praised and giving relate to joy?
3. Why doesn't joy come automatically? Where do most people trip on the path to joy? What’s the corrective?
4. What are some of the “bests” you need to choose? What steps will you take to boost your joy level?
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 See: Joy Stealers (courtesy of SH) on outline

VI. Joy Stealers (courtesy of SH)

1. False Salvation - Seeking joy without the Holy Spirit; pursuing righteous activity without being in Christ = frustration.
2. The influence of Satan and demons.
3. The need to understand God’s sovereignty better - Fretting as if God were not in control, feeling the need for you to control your life (orchestrating all yourself), or feel that others control your life.
4. Not praying (enough) -Failing to commit to the Lord your life, your concerns; depending on human insight and staying away from divine insight.
5. Low after spiritual high - Going from a great spiritual experience (sermon, music, answered prayer) to trial in life.
6. Circumstance Orientation - Taking all signals from the material world; emotions controlled by the world’s shallowness. Having what you want, being treated as you want, living as you want, big events, new things, vacations...and if you don’t or aren’t, you’re miserable.
7. Ingratitude- (i.e. Be grateful) Need to focus on things received from God, be satisfied, see trials as opportunities from God.
8. Forgetfulness - Remember what you are saved from. (New babes in Christ don’t usually cause splits in churches, they are too grateful and joyful about what they’ve received.)
9. Dissatisfaction- With you earthly condition, (looks, living situation, place in life, feeling short-changed, job).
10. Fear of the Future- Imagine the worst to happen—failure, loss, illness, death, things aren’t happening (the way you want them to.)
11. Live by Uncontrolled Feelings - “A weak person doesn’t talk to themselves enough.” Control yourself—thoughts, behavior...
12. Morbid Self-Analysis - Psychology may get in the way considering scripture is all that is really needed to give guidelines for life, it makes us self-centered, always looking to be set free but just really dredging up sins we’ve committed. We are inadequate, yes. Accept it and get God’s help as it was offered. Finding out all the “whys” won’t always help.
13. Guilt- Unwillingness to accept forgiveness, “I just can’t forgive myself” even though God has; always going back to that “one thing” you just can’t let go of.

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