This past Sunday we had the opportunity to work through Psalm 85 together. The question we considered from this text hits at the heart for many in our congregation: how do I move forward in faith when there is no joy? Several have expressed that the current season of life is one of lament. My prayer is that you were encouraged as you witnessed the model of the sons of Korah looking to God and asking for His help in times of trouble. Verse 6 of Psalm 85 is the central focus of the chapter.
Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Recently, I came across this idea that joy is “that deep sense of personal peace and satisfaction whereby we realize that God’s purpose is to glorify Himself in us and bless us through Christ.” To put it more succinctly, joy is “the excitement that God is blessing me to His own glory!” Even when facing difficult circumstances, struggles, trials, temptations, distress, deprivations, etc., I am able to know that because of the accomplishment of Christ, God is going to bless me with grace through these circumstances.
The Scriptures state that joy comes directly through our relationship with Jesus Christ. When this relationship and the enjoyment of the relationship is strengthened, the natural response is joy. The practical applications for advancing joy in our faith is expressed throughout Bible. Take time to consider how these examples are lived out in your life as you move forward in your faith. Read the Bible references to remind yourself that God is our greatest joy.
Yielding my life to the Holy Spirit brings joy — (Galatians 5:22, Acts 13:52) Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit; therefore, in order to have joy, we must be yielded to the Holy Spirit, submitting to His leading.
Receiving the Word into my life brings joy — (Luke 8:13, John 15:11) Turning to God’s Word for direction and then doing what it says produces joy. In this sense, obedience to God’s Word is its own reward.
Serving the Lord brings joy — (Luke 10:17, 2 Corinthians 1:24) One of the greatest privileges that a person can experience is the ability to serve God through Jesus. Serving the Lord brings gladness and joy.
Evangelizing brings joy — (Luke 15:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20) There is nothing compared to being used by God to introduce a sinner to the Savior. Even hearing of new believers produces joy. Sharing the Gospel is a joyful experience as Christ is worthy of being exalted through our efforts.
Thinking of the resurrection brings joy — (Luke 24:41 - Hebrews 12:2) Realizing that the struggles of this life are not final — that victory has been secured and insured through the resurrection of Christ — enables us to be joyful in any circumstance.
Worshiping God brings joy — (Luke 24:52, Philippians 2:17-18) Bowing before the Lord, coming before Him with thanksgiving brings gladness because in His presence there are pleasures forever. The Scriptures in the Old Testament talk about shouts of joy that issue as we worship.
Effectual praying brings joy — (John 16:24, Philippians 1:4) There is a settling effect that is produced by coming before the Lord in prayer. As we observe God hear and answer our prayers, we know a deep joy that assures us that God is truly interested in bringing Himself glory through our lives.
Persevering in trials brings joy — (James 1:2, Jude 24) There is something uniquely joy-producing in persevering through trials, watching God’s faithfulness sustain us to Hi glory. It is when we fail to see the ways that God is at work in our trials that we become miserable and downcast.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) also contribute to the New Life blog.