Series: Joy = Jesus Opening You
Part 1: “Go deeper”
Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is tied to our circumstances. You can have happy circumstances and still not have joy.
When a person receives Jesus as Lord the first expression of His Presence is joy deep down in your soul. It may produce tears of joy, laughter, leaping, various expressions of Joy because the Presence of the Lord is now in you!
Ill. When Mary pregnant with Jesus in her womb came into the house where her cousin Elisabeth, who was also pregnant with John the Baptist in her womb. The very presence of Jesus caused the baby in Elisabeth to leap for joy!
Joy goes deep inside the soul and becomes a supernatural source (called by Jesus as a spring or river) that will never runs dry. Joy comes from Jesus, deep down in your soul.
Joy is the life of God filling your soul with the awareness of God.
“In Thy Presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh. 8:10
Ill. I asked the Lord about joy. Lord I seem to be a little deficient on joy. I don’t see many people with joy, even at church. Why are we low on joy? He said it is a narrow path – small gate = few find it. You have to be intentional about finding it.
As I sat still and meditated on this He explained to my mind that He gives us joy, there is no lack in supply – there is the lack of receiving it.
In my mind He took me to a warehouse. Over in the corner were boxes and boxes of joy piled up in the corner. Pic of unclaimed boxes in warehouse
An angel said we get joy from heaven everyday by the truck loads but hardly anyone comes to pick it up. We wish people would come and pick it up because it’s not doing any good sitting over here.
Joy has to be intentionally received by you.
When you first got saved you experienced joy because of the presence of Jesus in you. After a while that joy may have diminished. Your passion dwindled. Jesus did not leave you but it may have felt like it. Don’t let your feelings fool you. Feelings come and go but truth remains the same. The devil will try to convince you on dark days that Jesus has left you.
Ain't no sunshine when He's gone
It's not warm when He's away
Ain't no sunshine when He's gone
This house is not a home – when He’s gone away.
But I know, I know, I know, I know.
Because I know, I know now, I know.
Yeah I know, I know, I know.
Now I know, I know, I know that I know.
Ain’t no sunshine – but He’s not gone! Hmmm.
It’s not warm – but He’s not away. Hmmm.
Ain’t no sunshine – but He’s not gone.
I am not alone – He said He is here to stay.
(you gotta get to this place where you can say)
I know, I know that I know, I know, I know, I know.
Ain’t no sunshine – but - He’s not gone.
It’s not warm – but - He’s not away.
Ain’t no sunshine – but - He’s not gone.
I am not alone – He is here - to stay.
He said I will never leave nor forsake you. If we have His Presence then we have His joy all the time – down deep in out soul!
One of the most astounding claims Jesus makes is on the night before He died.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who remains or abides in Me bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. . . I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jn 15:5, 11.
What does it mean for me to abide and remain in Him?
Stay in faith – trust His Word not your feelings. Keep believing His Promise. Things may seem bad but He is with you.
ABIDE = Always believing in Divine Enablement
I am connected to the Source of all life. I don’t quit until God tells to to stop. I believe in the God who can do anything! All things are possible to him who believes! My part is to abide – remain in faith.
This is His joy which is to be our joy. This is not something we manufacture. The very joy of the Son of God He gives to us. He says it twice! Jesus is praying to the Father in John 17.
“But now I am coming to You, Father God, and I say these things in the world, that they (us) may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. Jn 17:13
The next verse tells us specifically how He will do this. In six words Jesus explains how it will happen.
“I have given them Your Word.” Vs 14
God’s Word has an assignment. It is to bring you into your inheritance Jesus died to give you. He died to give you His joy now in this life. You won’t need joy in heaven – you need it now and it is available to you now!
By believing His Word and receiving it into our lives we experience His joy now! Surprisingly we discover His joy in trials and during afflictions more than any other time.
Ill. My friend Quinton told me the Lord woke him up at 3 am this week to talk to him about joy. He said the Lord told him that “Joy is when the Lord leads you to do something that you don’t necessarily want to do, but you obey and do it anyway. This acto of obedience is joy.
JOY = Jesus Opening You
When you remain open to God – His life can flow through you. We have to be open and remain open.
Pic of mason jars one close one open.
Jesus first opens our hearts to receive Him = salvation.
“The Lord opened Lydia’s heart to receive what Paul preached and she and her household were saved and baptized.” Acts 16:14 paraphrase
- Jesus with disciples on Emmaus “opened their minds to understand scriptures about Him.” Hearts burned.
Ill. After you get saved things are wonderful in your life for a season. Then unexpected things happen in your life. Troubles and trials.
You begin to wonder, “If God is with me why am I having all this trouble! This is where many people stop abiding – they stop staying open to God and His mysterious ways.
Here is where most close the lid on Jesus. They don’t remain open to Him.
- He let my loved one die. He did not answer my prayer? He did not heal me? He did not …So they close themselves to God in some way. They may still go to church but they closed the lid to Him and now they lost their capacity to receive His surprising joy in their life.
Pics of Jars here:
I guess no one taught them that trials are part of your training here. No one taught them they have an enemy determined to steal the word – faith and their inheritance.
Actually it is through your trials that you will discover a joy deep down in your soul!
- People will know of our trials and say to us, “I don’t know how you made it through this?”
Paul said of the people of Thessalonia, “You received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the HS.” I Thes. 1:6
Peter said the same to disciples in persecution: “You rejoice greatly even though you suffer various trials. . . You don’t see Him now, yet you believe and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:6-9
- How could James write “Consider it all joy brethren when you encounter various trials…” He had to mean for us to go deeper!
- Speaking of Xns in 1st century persecuted for the faith it says
“they joyfully endured the confiscation of their property, knowing that in heaven they have a better and an enduring possession for themselves.” Heb. 10:34 – They had to go deeper than just surface living.
If you need joy flowing into you life then God is calling you to go deeper than just the surface of your life that may not be very pleasant. Go deep! Joy is not laying on the surface it is deep down in your soul.
We are told as Xns to “rejoice” always. We are told to count it all joy in trials. At the oddest of times we are told to do something that goes against our human nature – to rejoice in the Lord. This is weird! Because it is supernatural.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
- Not all things that happen to us are good. But if we qualify: love God, called according to His purpose for my life = it will work together somehow by God for good, not necessarily the way I want it to.
Because You have a promised from God – you can rejoice now by faith anticipating somehow God will work it together for good!
People will take notice if you rejoice when your life is in the dark moment when things look really bad.
“What are you rejoicing about?” I got a feeling, everything gonna be alright, I got a feeling….. It’s supernatural.
It’s more than a feeling. I got a promise from God. Your unwavering trust in God will be rewarded in this lifetime. Release you joy now for in it is your strength!
Joy is for now – in this lifetime. Jesus gave you His joy BUT YOU GOT TO STAY OPEN TO RECEIVE IT as part of your inheritance.
“Though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food;
though the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls – Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like hind’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high places.”
“though” – in spite of this event. “Yet” – Because of Who God is.
Sometimes God withholds what we want, to teach us that life is more than receiving from God.
Every believer will have stretch marks. GOD STRETCHES OUR FAITH IN HIM. BECAUSE:
Relationship with God is more important than the resolution of our problems!
The first sign of salvation is rejoicing!
Concl: Ill. Remember when first saved you had joy as a by-product of Jesus. IT was just present. Then over time the enemy was able to sneak in and steal and little here and there until one day you woke up exhausted and depressed. What happened? You’ve been robbed!
Go get it back.
- If not born again – pray this to God right now!