Faithlife Sermons

A Picture of Joy

Exodus and Advent  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Bible uses joy to describe a person or object that brings someone happiness.

Notes
Transcript

Key Verses

Hebrews 12:2 ESV
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Luke 2:1 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
He
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Philippians 4:4 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Philipians 4
1 Thessalonians 5:16 ESV
Rejoice always,
1 thes
James 1:2 ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
1 Peter 4:13 ESV
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
1 peter
John 15:11 ESV
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Romans 12:12 ESV
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
john 15:11
John 17:3 ESV
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Matthew 5:21 ESV
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
Acts 2:28 ESV
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Acts 2:28 ESV
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
John 16:22 ESV
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

JOY State of delight and well being that results from knowing and serving God.

John 16:20–22 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Many people think that God is the great killjoy. Nothing could be a bigger lie. God Himself knows joy, and He wants His people to know joy. Psalm 104:31 speaks of God Himself rejoicing in His creative works. Isaiah 65:18 speaks of God rejoicing over His redeemed people who will be to Him “a joy.”

john 16

Joy in the Christian life is in direct proportion as believers walk with the Lord. They can rejoice because they are in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:22). Sin in a believer’s life robs the person of joy (Ps. 51:7–8, 12).

2 cor
2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Deuteronomy 28:47 ESV
Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things,

Key Phrases

Joy is connected with and is an evidence of faith (Phil 1:25)

Jesus teaches that one who finds the kingdom of God will, with great joy, give up all of one’s possessions to gain it (Matt 13:44). Chara thus refers to both an internal emotional response and an action that one does. In both ways, this noun is similar to many other words for joy.

Lexham Theological Wordbook Theological Overview

Joy marks the people of God both individually and corporately. This characteristic of God’s people is present in the OT but is most evident in the NT.

Joy is the sense or state of gladness or elation that people experience through their relationship with God and through good things in their lives.

Joy represents a sense or feeling of gladness, elation, or happiness in the Bible. It is an inward reality that may express itself outwardly. Joy is a response to God and/or circumstances.

Joy. Positive human condition that can be either feeling or action. The Bible uses joy in both senses.

Joy as Feeling. Joy is a feeling called forth by well-being, success, or good fortune. A person automatically experiences it because of certain favorable circumstances. It cannot be commanded.

Joy as Action. There is a joy that Scripture commands. That joy is action that can be engaged in regardless of how the person feels.

Hebrews 12:2 ESV
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Bible uses joy to describe a person or object that brings someone happiness.

JOY (שִׂמְחָה, simchah; χαρά, chara). Closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice. One of the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22–23). Having joy is part of the experience of being a Christian.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary Biblical Relevance

Joy” also occurs frequently in songs of praise, most frequently in the book of Psalms (1 Chr 16; Pss 20; 33; 47). The prophets speak of joy, both its being taken away on account of exile (Ezek 24:25; Joel 1:12) and of the joy that will return when the people are restored (Isa 35:10; Jer 31:13).

The Lexham Bible Dictionary Cultural Relevance

Cultural Relevance

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit; it is expected of Christians because it is the natural result of having received salvation. The joy comes on account of what Christ has done, irrelevant of whatever other circumstances are happening in one’s life.

the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires

Suffering brings joy as believers are united with Christ in his suffering (1 Peter 4:13–14). Paul speaks of his joy in the midst of affliction (2 Cor. 7:4–16)

Fellowship with Jesus brings continuous joy (John 15–17).

8283

joy

A quality or attitude of delight and happiness, which is ultimately grounded in the work of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Among the many situations in which joy is experienced, Scripture recognises as supreme being accepted in the presence of God

Dictionary of Bible Themes 8287 joy, and human experience

joy, and human experience

Joy is experienced naturally in many circumstances of life and in human relationships. It is especially important in the life of God’s people, who experience joy in response to all that God has done for them.

Dictionary of Bible Themes 8287 joy, and human experience

God’s people find their joy in him

Ps 4:7; 16:11; Hab 3:17-18; Php 3:1 See also 1Ch 16:10; Ps 43:4; Php 1:23-26 knowing Jesus Christ; Php 4:4

God himself gives joy to his people Ne 12:43; Job 8:21; Ecc 2:26; Isa 9:3; Ac 13:52; 14:15-17

Reasons for God’s people to know joy 1Sa 2:1 God’s deliverance; 2Ch 6:41 God’s goodness; Job 22:22-26 repentance; Ps 19:8 the rightness of God’s precepts; Ps 94:19 God’s consolation; Ps 122:1 being in God’s presence; Isa 25:9 God’s salvation; Isa 58:13-14 honouring the Sabbath; Jer 15:16 God’s words; Jer 31:12 God’s generosity; Lk 1:46-49 recognition by God; Ro 15:13 trusting God

See also

In modern Judaism, one often hears the praise of the simchat torah, “the joy of the Law!” Joy is a mark of God’s people, both in the New and Old Testament. Simchah in Hebrew means “joy.” Some scholars suggest that only the word simchah, the verb samach, meaning “to rejoice, be glad,” and gil in its verb and noun forms, “to rejoice” and “rejoicing,” fit the central idea behind the English word “joy.” Although there are ten other words translated as “joy” in different Bible translations, this study will focus only on simchah and samach: the noun simchah contains the root from which the verb samach comes. Simchah was the purpose of the feasts and festivals of Israel; they fostered the joy of God’s people, which the Lord wanted to be complete (Deut. 16:15). Whenever Israel worshiped before the Lord and wherever He directed the Israelites to worship, they were to rejoice constantly (Deut. 12:7, 12, 18), even when paying tithes (Deut. 14:26).

The joy of the Lord was God’s goal for His people, and they were to find in Him the subject, the source, and the object of their joy. God’s people were never supposed to find their joy in anything that in any way opposed the Lord.

In the New Testament, the theme of the joy of the Lord continues even more strongly. The one who finds the kingdom of heaven “joyfully” sells all that he or she owns in order to obtain it (Matt. 13:44). The joy of Jesus’ followers was a joy that superseded fear (Matt. 28:8). With Jesus in heaven, there will be no more suffering as prophesized by Isaiah when he talks of a restored of a people of God, entering into Zion with a crown of everlasting joy (Isa. 35:10; 55:12). The inexpressible joy of believers is possible because even in the absence of the Lord, we know that we nave received the salvation of our souls (1 Pet. 1:9).

JOY State of delight and well being that results from knowing and serving God.

Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts

Many people think that God is the great killjoy. Nothing could be a bigger lie. God Himself knows joy, and He wants His people to know joy. Psalm 104:31 speaks of God Himself rejoicing in His creative works. Isaiah 65:18 speaks of God rejoicing over His redeemed people who will be to Him “a joy.”

When a person walks with the Lord, the person can continue to rejoice even when troubles come. Jesus spoke of those who could rejoice even when persecuted and killed (Matt. 5:12). Paul wrote of rejoicing in suffering because of the final fruit that would result (Rom. 5:3–5). Both Peter and James also echoed the Lord’s teachings about rejoicing in troubles (1 Pet. 1:6–8; James 1:2).

Joy in the Christian life is in direct proportion as believers walk with the Lord. They can rejoice because they are in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:22). Sin in a believer’s life robs the person of joy (Ps. 51:7–8, 12).

The Psalms are full of joyful praise and thanksgiving. The Lord has clothed the psalmist with joy (30:11) and filled his heart with joy (4:7), which is found in the presence of the Lord (21:6). Joy belongs to the righteous (68:3; 97:11).

According to the prophets, messianic hope brings śimḥâ. Just before Isaiah foretells the birth of the Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6), he prophesies that God will magnify the joy of his people (Isa 9:3). Indeed, the Lord will crown his people with śimḥâ ʿôlām (“everlasting joy”; Isa 51:11). Though they may have suffered, the Lord promises future joy (Isa 51:3; Zech 8:19; Zeph 3:17). See NIDOTTE, 3:1251–54.

According to James, believers should consider trials a joy, because they lead to deeper faith and maturity (Jas 1:2). Though Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians from prison, in the midst of personal suffering, he maintains the steadfast joy that he instructs the Philippian believers to maintain (Phil 1:25; 2:2; 4:1). He also emphasizes in his letters that the work of ministry, however difficult or dangerous, is a joy (2 Cor. 1:24; 2:3; 1 Thess. 2:19–20; 3:9).

The experience of deliverance and the anticipation of salvation provide the most significant occasions for rejoicing among the people of God in the OT. The coming of the Messiah, who delivers his people and brings salvation becomes the basis for rejoicing in the NT. The response of joy, gladness, or happiness is not only a deep inward feeling, but is expressed in celebration when God’s people gather together.

Commentary

Key Phrases

χαρά, ‘joy’, is mentioned, like love, in Romans 5 among the blessings which accrue to believers. We ‘rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ’, says Paul, ‘through whom we have now received our reconciliations (Rom. 5:11). This rejoicing includes rejoicing ‘in the hope of the glory of God’ (Rom. 5:2)—paraphrased in the RSV as ‘our hope of sharing the glory of God’—another aspect of ‘the hope of righteousness’ for which, according to Gal. 5:5, believers wait ‘through the Spirit, by faith’. Hope (ἐλπίς) is not listed separately here as belonging to the fruit of the Spirit, but it is an important element in Christian joy. It is hope that enables believers to rejoice even in sufferings, and their endurance of sufferings in a Christian spirit strengthens their hope (Rom. 5:3–5). Paul prays that ‘the God of hope’ may fill the Roman Christians ‘with all joy and peace in believing’ (Rom. 15:13); the kingdom of God, he tells them, means ‘righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom. 14:17).

The juxtaposition of peace and joy in these two texts is not haphazard: ‘since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Rom. 5:1), and peace and joy are spiritual twins. To have peace with God (the indicative ἔχομεν in Rom. 5:1 is a preferable reading to the subjunctive ἔχωμεν) is to be reconciled to him, and it is those who have been reconciled through Christ that have greatest cause to rejoice in God (Rom. 5:11).

Joy is connected with and is an evidence of faith (Phil 1:25)

One could well believe that love, joy and peace formed a triad in early Christian language, like faith, hope and love (see end of note on 5:6). In the upper-room discourse of the Fourth Gospel Jesus gives his disciples ‘my peace’ (Jn. 14:27), bids them abide in ‘my love’ (Jn. 15:9f.) and desires that they know ‘my joy’ (Jn. 15:11).

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