isn’t a Joy ride, but a Joy Road’
Have you ever driven down a rough road, a dirt road? Was the trip bumpy? Was it one of those roads that had a lot of pot holes? Maybe it was wet and muddy and you slid all over the road. Maybe it was a road that was slick, icy and you hung unto the steering wheel with all your strength. Was it one of those roads where you were out in the Bundy’s it was dark and your eyes would not leave the road because of the possible deer or bear that would jump out from the side of the road. It was probably hard to believe in a little while all this would be behind you, but while you’re on that road it felt like forever. Jesus told His disciples in the Upper Room prior to His own death that the road in front of you will not always be a freshly paved highway. There will be some bumps along the way, some slippery spots; but he did tell us we can have joy even if for a little while there might be sorrow. “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10 (NLT)
Text: John 16:16-20 (NKJV)
16 "A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father." 17 Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?" 18 They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying." 19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'? 20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
1. Joy is Deliverance:
The fruit of the spirit produces deliverance: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The fruit of the spirit gives joy, so are you a source of joy? Are you delivered, and if you are delivered you will have this rare commodity!
“A little while” seven times that statement is made: “A little while” do you think the Lord is trying to tell us something today? Is it possible that we might have a need to be delivered? And if it need be for a while we suffer we can still experience joy because we are delivered?
Dr. J. I. Packer makes some relevant comments about Christian teaching on joy: Joy is being able to experience the seriousness of some of life’s circumstances and the reality of our human and spiritual position, and at the same time having joy: “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
Joy is commanded by the apostle Paul, which implies that it is more than a whooshy feeling.
- “Always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy.” Philippians 1:4
- “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Joy is not fully experienced in this life—it is, but an anticipation of heaven. Joy is anticipated now, as a foretaste of heaven, and because the joy of heaven will be so great we may experience joy even when the road is very bumpy, for we know joy is not postponed forever. Even on the night before his death, with the certainty of the cross ahead for Jesus and desertion and ultimately persecution for his followers, Jesus told the disciples that joy could be complete if they kept in obedience to his love: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” We are delivered!
Jesus predicted His death and resurrection. His death: "A little while, and ye shall not see me." His resurrection: "And again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” The prediction puzzled the disciples, and they began to ask among themselves what Jesus meant. Jesus knew that they were puzzled and asked them about their perplexity, wishing to help them. Jesus' claim: "I go to the Father". "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
His way delivers us In A little while!
2. Joy is Divine:
It is possessed and given only by GOD! Its roots are not in earthly or material things or cheap triumphs. It is the joy of the Holy Spirit, a joy based in the Lord, It is His very own Joy. Joy does not depend on circumstances or happiness. Happiness depends upon happenings, but Joy that God implants in the believer’s heart overrides all, even the most troublesome matters of life and death. This is a rare commodity in the church! REAL Joy! Someone who’s world isn’t rattled every time something unexpected happens, this individual is able to go with the flow, move on, get over it. Their feelings are not hurt so easily.
Jesus said there was to be sorrow at first. He would be going away and leaving the disciples by sacrificing Himself for the world, after sorrow there was to be uncontrollable joy. Jesus said that He would arise, and His resurrection would cause His followers to burst forth with joy. His resurrection meant that death was conquered. Men no longer had to die, no longer had to be condemned for sin. They could be delivered from sin and death by following Jesus. Jesus gave a good illustration of the violent contrast between the sorrow over death and the joy of the resurrection. The illustration describes a woman's travail in giving birth. She suffers so much that she literally groans and grasps in desperation for the new life to begin. Once the child is born, the sorrow and pain are all forgotten, for a new life has emerged.
The believer's joy of really knowing the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be taken away by any man. The fact is there: Jesus did die for man's sins and arise again to give man a new life—a life that is both abundant and eternal. The believer knows it. His joy is permanent, deep-seated, and unmovable, when the trials and sorrows of earth come upon him, he still knows the joy of the Lord's presence and care.
Where Does Christian Joy Come From?
Joy comes from an appreciation that the believer is accepted in Christ and loved. It has well been said that happiness comes from circumstances, but joy comes from the knowledge of our relationship with the Lord. Our joy is found in knowing the truth. God does not make us happy by removing our circumstances, but rather he gives us joy in our circumstances, knowing that He is using them to mold us into the image of Jesus. Joy comes from realizing that we are saved for an eternity with God in who is fullness of joy forever more. James wrote ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance …” ‘Trials are to be received joyfully because we know that through them God is routing out our sinful dispositions and leading us to trust him more.
Joy comes from a habitual response to God. Galatians reminds us: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit is produced by our crucifying the sinful nature and being led by the Spirit. Christian qualities are not things we can cultivate by ourselves. They are not the result of some amazing self-improvement plan. No, rather these characteristics are the overﬂow of a life abiding in Christ and remaining in him; a life starving the ﬂesh, crucifying it, and a life walking in and by the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-14 (KJV)
The angel opens his discourse by saying, that he announces great joy; and next assigns the matter of joy, that a Savior is born. These words show us, first, that, until men have peace with God, and are reconciled to him through the grace of Christ, all the joy that they experience is deceitful, and of short duration. Joy comes to those who worship Him! “They worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.” Luke 24:52 (HCSB)
What a beautiful scene, the disciples still doubted Jesus and all that He came to do, so He makes another appearance shows His body His nailed scared hands ask for food to eat and there in the same hour ascends to heaven just as He hand planned all along. A light bulb goes on in the disciples understanding. They found the joy the joy that only comes through worshipping Him!
Imagine being filled, when was the last time you really experienced God? Were you filled? Was there a certain feeling? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. “ Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
I love the wording in the NIV “Let us fix” that’s it (Turn your eyes upon Jesus…)
We can have this Joy by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. So do you think it is worth waiting a little while?
‘Christianity isn’t a Joy ride, but a Joy Road.’
In : Sermon
Tags: "book of john" "joy"
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