I hope that you are enjoying our Advent series as much as I am.
I love this time of year. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love looking at Christmas lights with the family. I love watching Christmas movies with my boys. I enjoyed watching my family make Christmas cookies. I also like any excuse to drink coffee or hot chocolate.
Don’t forget that we will have a Facebook video about Peace this week and then we will end our Advent series on Christmas day. Our service will begin at the normal time. If you know of anyone whose church is not having services this Sunday, feel free to invite them to our service. This would also be a good time to invite your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers to FaithPoint. We want everyone to hear about Jesus.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from: Philippians 4:4-9 The title for this sermon is: Fight for Joy. This is week 3 in our Advent series.
We see in this Scripture that we are called to rejoice. Always. Consistently and constantly. Always. Joy. It is not an emotion. It is a fruit of the Spirit.
The Concise Dictionary of Christian Theology says, Joy – A sense of satisfaction and delight that is not affected by circumstances.
Where does this satisfaction and delight come from?
We see that joy is different than happiness. Happiness is based on our circumstances. When circumstances are good, we are happy. When circumstances are bad or do not go the way that we expected, our expression changes very quickly.
You are not responsible for what happens to you but you are responsible for how you respond to what happens to you.
You can have joy in tough times. You can have joy in the midst of the storm. You can have joy no matter what your trial or test may be because – the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10: The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Jesus is the reason for your joy. Joy is not found in a thing. Joy is found in a Shepherd. Joy is found in our Sustainer. Joy is found in a Noble, Holy, Righteous, Majestic, King. Joy is found in our Savior. Joy is found in Jesus.
Jesus is our satisfaction. Jesus is our delight. Jesus is our joy.
Let’s connect some verses.
Matthew 22:37-39 – You can love God, love others, and love yourself because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Luke 9:23 – You can take up your cross and follow Jesus daily because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
1 John 5:1-3 You can delight in obedience because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalm 119:11 You can hide God’s word in your heart because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Romans 12:2 You can have your mind transformed because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalm 139:23-24 You can pray this prayer because you are not irritable, resentful, or rebellious in conforming to the image of Jesus because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Joshua 1:9 You can be strong and courageous because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
James 1:2-4 You can find joy in the midst of trials and be steadfast in the faith because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
What brings joy to the life of a Christian?
Ephesians 1:4 – You were chosen before the foundation of the world
Ephesians 2:10 – You are God’s masterpiece chosen and given things to do that He has called you to accomplish
Romans 5:8 – Jesus died for you.
1 Corinthians 15:4 – Jesus rose from the dead.
Romans 8:11 – The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.
Colossians 3:3 – Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
John 10:28 – Jesus said that no one can ever take you away from Him. You belong to Jesus.
All of these things are true whether you believe them or not.
All of these things are true whether you have joy or not.
I encourage you to find your joy in Jesus so that you can believe that all of these things are true.
However, you have to fight for joy.
The Bible says that you have an enemy. The devil that masquerades as an angel of light. He is called a liar. He is called a thief. He is called a lion that roaming seeking Christians to devour.
All of his tactics are the same from the beginning of time. He does not change them because of their effectiveness. All of his tactics are designed to steal, kill, and destroy.
Steal your joy.
Kill your hope.
Destroy your peace.
The devil is going to hurl things at you in full force. He is going to launch attacks on you because he wants to mess you up.
James 4:7 Put up a fight.
If you want to keep joy, you have to do things that are going to plant it, cultivate it, and harvest it. You have to plant the fruit of the Spirit if you want to reap it.
You have to be aware of things, circumstances and situations that are designed to kill your joy. When you lose joy – the devil has won that battle. He stole your joy.
Through Jesus you can take it back. Just snatch it right out of his hands.
Renew your focus.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Ask God to show you how He has blessed you and ask Him to open your eyes to see it.
It is not just about resisting or putting up a fight. It is about surrender.
Submit yourselves to God. Surrender.
True joy is found in surrender to Jesus.
If you want true, everlasting joy, surrender your life fully to Jesus. Relinquish control and walk in the freedom that Jesus gives you and your joy will multiply.
May your cup be filled to overflowing.