Summary of Discovering Joy: Part One
Brent discusses the great time everyone had when Pastor Gumal came to SouthRidge from Syria. He shared the struggles believers have in a Muslim country. He shared a story about a time in Syria where 400 Muslims turned their lives to Jesus all at once. His stories were amazing! And all his stories had the same element of Joy.
Trying to find Joy vs. Trying to find happiness
Our culture has a confusion over Joy. Dogs and cats are great examples of joy and happiness. Dogs have joy! Cats are full of smug self centered happiness. Brent also points out that there are two ways to come to Joy: 1. The complicated road, 2. The uncomplicated road.
To clear up happiness vs. Joy we will explore Joy
Joy is not measured by how much you laugh and smile, but the contentment of your soul.
This is a pretty bold claim made by the writer of James. He’s pointing out that struggles refine us. These events test us and brings out our best.
Joy is a choice
Phil 4:4 – Paul explains that Joy is a choice.
Joy is a gift
Galatians 5:22 – in the bible it explains that Joy is also a gift from God as a fruit of the spirit.
How to achieve Joy
The only way to achieve Joy is to orient our heart to God. And once we do orient towards God our “Joy factor” can tell us when we have stopped focusing on God.
Obstacles we encounter that disrupt our Joy:
1. Feeling alone
Brent uses an example from Walter Brynjolfson’s blog. In the blog post Walter writes about a man (“Emmanuel”) who converts to Jesus but had to feel his hometown and family. Emmanuel’s own father has committed to kill his own son. Emmanuel was filled with Joy but it was sucked out from him because he felt utterly alone. Find Walter on Facebook.
So as a church we have offered support. We are helping him.
2. Sin causes us to lose Joy
A hard heart towards God will prevent us from receiving Joy from God. God requires a soft heart! Our hearts can’t be unsettled and unsatisfied with Him. But when we are turned away from God we attempt to fill our heart with things that only bring us happiness — which isn’t joy!
When Jesus was born the angles described it as “news of great Joy!”
Joy comes from encounters with Jesus
There are examples all throughout the New Testament where encounters with Jesus have lead to Joy.
Luke 2:11, Romans 15:13
Jesus is the son of God who has come to save them from sin! This brings our Joy and hope! Joy comes from the certainty of our salvation.
About this Message Series
This is a message in a series called “Joy – Christmas 2015”. This series focused on the topics of joy and joyfulness. The series touches on the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus. This series was started in Decemember 2015.