Jesus and the Journey to Joy
"Joy has a history. Joy is the verified, repeated experience of those involved in what God is doing."
"Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow. Pain and hardship still come, BUT they are unable to drive out the happiness of the redeemed."
-Pastor Micah Guy, August 6, 2017, "Our God-Given Joy"
Image by Julian Lozano.
As Pastor Micah showed us from Psalm 126, joy is an important part of the Christian life. Jesus has not come to simply make us obedient or dutiful, but that our joy would be complete (John 15:11). But what is joy? How do we define it? How do we know it? And is the Christian's joy any different than the happiness we see of those in the world?
Pastor John Piper defines Christian joy as "a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as He causes us to see the beauty of Chist in the word and in the world."
In 6 short videos Pastor John takes you through this definition and the theme of JOY in the book of Philippians. Here is an excerpt:
One of the reasons I am the kind of Christian I am, with the theology that I have, is that I know the Bible requires of me things that I cannot myself immediately produce by my own power. I am fallen. I am sinful. And yet I know I should be feeling the emotions the Bible expects me to feel. I know myself guilty.
Saint Augustine said, “Father, command what you will and grant what you command.” He knew God commanded certain emotions of him that he couldn’t make happen on his own. So he prayed, Oh God, if you are going to command me these things, grant that you would give them when you command them.
Are you wrestling with a joylessness in your life? Did Micah's sermon on Sunday reveal that you're missing out on an essential characteristic of the Christian life? Or maybe you feel joyful, but you want God's joy to more fully spread into all aspects of your life? Then I'd encourage you to take 60 minutes this week (at once or in parts) and watch through these 6 video lessons on JOY.
Part 1: How Do You Define Joy?
Part 2: What Is Christian Hedonism?
Part 5: How Does Joy Overflow in Love?
Part 6: Does Joy Die in Sorrow?