Joy

 

Reading: Isaiah 35



Joy = A deep emotion of pleasure, gladness, a thing that causes delight.



Introduction

 

We live in a world of fear, frustration, sickness, sorrow and death; a world of mounting misery. True, lasting joy is only known by a few souls on earth in comparison to the desperately unhappy multitudes. The question is:


Where can true, lasting joy be found?

1. A Spiritual Fruit

 

This morning I hope to trace the path to true Joy. To begin with we not confuse 'true joy' with sexual thrills, ecstatic experiences or drug-induced 'hyper sensations' of the mind or body. Momentary physical or mental ecstasy is not what I am taking about this morning. My subject is 'true Joy;' the deep and lasting emotion of pleasure and gladness that causes delight to an individual's spirit and soul, which of course includes the mind.
The Bible says that 'Joy' is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.


Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

True joy, in other words comes from YaHuWaH and no other source. It is a divine product. It is found in His presence. Man is no more able to produce true joy than he is able to produce an apple from anything but an apple tree. YaHuWaH is a Tree of Life; and joy is something He alone produces. No one can duplicate this holy fruit of joy. One either obtains it from Him or does without. Every imitation soon becomes apparent. In fact no one is able to duplicate any of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace etc., all of these fruits are products of the Holy Spirit. They cannot be duplicated by men or angels. They are products of the Almighty's Spirit: and if we want them, we must go to Him. No other course will work.


2. Prelimiaries to True Joy

 

True joy, as I've stated already, is a spiritual fruit. Before it can be acquired you must follow a specific course. Shortcuts do not exist. Briefly here is that course:


Repentance / Forgiveness

The first step towards true joy is repentance and forgiveness. No matter how sinful you may have been, before you can have real peace and joy you must be forgiven of your sins. YaHuWaH is willing to forgive you - if you want forgiveness. But you must repent of your sins first. Forgiveness is then guaranteed, no matter how bad those sins may be.


Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith YaHuWaH : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19: If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of YaHuWaH hath spoken it.

Salvation

The process of repentance, forgiveness, faith and obedience etc. is called 'salvation'. Salvation is found in the Almighty. He offers you salvation - free of charge! Carefully consider your own salvation. You ignore it at your peril.


Isaiah 12:2 Behold, Elohim is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for YAH YaHuWaH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.
3: Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

In addition to salvation from sin and death - eternal death - YaHuWaH offers you enormous blessing. His list of benefits is long to say the least. Here is a short list from the Savior's Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew chapter 5.


Blessing

v 3&5 Inheritance ... The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
v 4 Comfort... A permanent end to all sorrow.
v 6 Satisfaction ... Spiritual nourishment unlimited.
v 7 Mercy ... No more guilt and no more sin.
v 8 Meeting Elohim ... They shall see YaHuWaH.
v 9 Adoption ... They shall be called the Sons of YaHuWaH.
v 10 Inheritance ... Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
v 11 Fellowship ... Put in the same class with prophets of old.
v 13 Highly Evaluated ... Ye are the salt of the earth:...
v 14 Light... Ye are the light of the world.


Are you able to grasp the enormity of these blessings? I'm sure you are not. I certainly cannot. But I believe them none the less. Join me.


3. The Joy of Obedience

 

Obedience brings in its train deep and lasting joy. Like a powerful current, obedience moves the soul into areas of joy not experienced by the persistent sinner. Look at these examples which prove that YaHuWaH makes obedient souls joyful.



Ecclesiastes 2:26 For Elohim giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner He giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before Elohim...
Ezra 6:19 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.
20: For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21: And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek YaHuWaH Elohim of Israel, did eat,
22: And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for YaHuWaH had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of Elohim, the Elohim of Israel
Nehemiah 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for Elohim had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

4. The Joy of Sacrifice

 

At first sight sacrifice and joy appear to be opposites. How can they coexist? How can one give up something precious and be happy at the same time? It is only when we consider the final outcome of a sacrifice that this point can be appreciated. Like the Master we must look ahead at the joy to come.


5. Joy after Suffering

 

Suffering and sacrifice are painful. But if we continue to be faithful, YaHuWaH has scheduled that a compensating joy will follow all suffering. This fact is as true for spiritual Israel (all believers in YAHUSHUA) as it is for the blood-born sons and daughters of Jacob.



James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of YaHuWaH, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
11: For YaHuWaH hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
12: Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of YaHuWaH, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
13: Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14: And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith YaHuWaH.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Messiah's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

6. Eternal Joy

 

Will true joy ever end? Or is it a passing thing, here today and gone tomorrow? We are delighted to announce that according to Bible prophecy true joy for the believer is not only scheduled to increase, but it is to last forever - for all time! It is quite impossible for the present human mind to fully appreciate this prophesied fact. But it is true nonetheless.



Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of YaHuWaH shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of YaHuWaH, ye that tremble at His word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My Name's sake, said, Let YaHuWaH be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Summary

  • True, lasting Joy is a spiritual fruit of YaHuWaH 's Holy Spirit. It can not be produced any other way. Counterfeit joy, physical ecstasy and thrills may abound: but they never last. Learn to recognize counterfeits.
  • Steps towards obtaining true joy are faith, repentance and forgiveness. These are vital processes in the plan of salvation. Believers in the Most High have good reason to be happy. They will have peace of mind and eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. This prospect will guarantee a measure of joy in this life.
  • A major step towards obtaining joy is obedience. Obedience attracts enormous blessings from the Most High. Disobedience produces pain and sorrow.
  • Suffering and sacrifice, if properly understood, can also produce a harvest of joy. But this joy is mostly experienced at a later date when the results of sacrifice or suffering are seen.
  • True joy is scheduled to last for all time; increasing through the coming ages to unimaginable dimensions. YaHuWaH has promised this. Believe Him.


1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son YAHUSHUA Messiah.
4: And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.




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