Monday, December 16, 2013

5 ways to keep your joy


Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!  Give us back the joys we once had!

Let me give us some ways to keep our joy fresh.  I understand that we aren’t always going to be up and excited.  We can put in place truth that we let us see through situations. 

In the Christmas story each player had to make a choice.  From Elizabeth and Zechariah a choice had to be made to believe that their son would be the prophet of the coming messiah.  With Mary and Joseph had to come radical faith to not divorce but to live by what God said.  From the shepherds and the wise men had to come determination because many people will question what they said they saw.

The same is true for us.  Here are 5 ways to keep your joy.

1. Know who you are.

You are a child of God.  You have been chosen by God and forgiven.  He loves you where you are and how you are.  Much like the people who followed Nehemiah when he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

So everyone who had returned from captivity lived in these shelters during the festival, and they were all filled with great joy!  The Israelites had not celebrated like this since the days of Joshua son of Nun.

The people had a choice to make.  Their lives in slavery were cared for with food and shelter but hard labor.  Their lives in freedom meant hard work but peace and joy.  Choosing joy is easier when we know who we are.

Luke 1:14  NLT
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

People celebrate Jesus and have joy when Christmas becomes a reality.  Jesus is our joy and our reality.

2. Know they you are forgiven.

Romans 4:7  NLT
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.

That is a fact.  Take it to the bank.  Believe what God said.  We are forgiven completely by what Jesus did based on who He is.

Psalm 32:2  NLT
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

3. Know that you are unique, blessed and have potential.

You were created by God.  There is no one else like you built to be blessed and to be a blessing to others.  God placed in your life a boatload of potential.  It is my desire to call out that potential in your life.  Believe what God said.

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

4. Know you have an awesome future.

Jeremiah 29:11 sums it up the best when God says He knows our future which is set hope and greatness.  That future is for you because God loves you no matter what.  He wants to fill your life with joy that can not be taken away.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
                       
5. Know you make your Heavenly Father smile.

We cannot earn God’s love or preform so well that He loves us more.  He is proud of us just where we are.  His love is real and strong.  By knowing God’s truth, what God says, we can apply it to our lives.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.

God is pleased with you.  It is somewhat like looking up in the stands from the playing field and seeing your mom or dad smiling and cheering.  God is cheering for you, but the difference is that He is with us all the time.

I am preaching a series of messages at The Community Fellowship centering on points of the Advent.  JOY is just one of those points.  The question is this: do we allow the situations of life to rob us of our joy?  By applying what we have learned from God and what we know from God our lives will over flow with joy!

Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.

Joy is the result of focusing on Christ rather than my circumstances! – Perry Noble

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