Abundant Joy II Cor. 8:1-2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Christians, above all, should demonstrate the abundant joy of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. We should have the abundant joy of Jesus Christ radiating through our minds, hearts, and voices so that this poor old tattered world with its lost people, as well as other Christians, will be encouraged that Jesus Christ is the source of all real joy on this side of eternity. The world has tried incessantly in every way that it can to infiltrate our joy with entertainment. Some young people grow up never realizing the abundant joy that is available to us through the Lord Jesus Christ in spite of and apart from entertainment. Christians are the only people who can have joy in times of persecution, reproach, affliction and sacrifice because we have something the rest of the world doesn’t have. We have Jesus. So, how do you “tap into” this joy?
By being saved – Joy comes from our salvation – (Rom. 5:10-11) There is no joy this side of eternity that can equal the joy of knowing that Jesus Christ has saved you from sin and hell. In three decades of preaching the gospel to sinners, I haven’t lost the joy of seeing a new soul come to Christ. And the joy you experience when you get saved is greater than all earthly pleasures.
By being filled with the Spirit – Joy comes from being filled with the Spirit – (Acts 13:52) When you are filled with the Holy Spirit your joy is not dependent on other people or things of the world but only on your faith in Jesus Christ. Empty yourself of all things that inhibit the Holy Spirit from filling you and yield to his presence and leadership in your life [Gal 5:22].
By being united with believers – Joy comes from being “one” with likeminded brethren – (John 17:11-13) Jesus prayed that we would be one with each other and that we would love each other. (Phil. 2:2) Paul certainly had joy that the Philippians were likeminded, having the same love and of one accord. There is great joy in knowing that you can have fellowship with other Christians in any city in the world where there is a church that believes the Bible.
By being assured of your salvation – (Jude 24) Joy comes from knowing that you cannot lose your salvation and that you will be perfect and faultless before the Lord when he comes. Because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ which covers your sin you will be able to stand perfect before the Lord.
By loving and obeying the Lord – Joy comes from the love of Jesus and the Father and from doing what they say – (John 15:9) When you get in a right relationship with God you will have abundant joy in the love that comes from that right relationship.