Last time we saw that Jesus is the source of everlasting joy. Let’s continue and look at how…
Joyful people work joyfully
Charles Spurgeon says that “The best work is done by a happy, joyful workman.” How are we to be happy, joyful workmen? How does this all work then?
First, root out optimism and fake happiness.
Joy is not a circumstantial feeling or disposition. Optimism is a disposition. Some people really are “the glass is perpetually half-full.” And that’s fine! But when an optimistic person hits the reality of life’s difficulty without joy in their heart, the effect can be devastating. It is a barnacle that can result in false hope.
And fake happiness is a hypocrisy that kills churches. So we can’t simply put on a smile and act happy. God is calling us to BE happy.
Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
If Jesus is the source and focus of our joy, then there is no circumstance that can dilute our joy. It can’t actually diminish our joy, because no one and nothing can diminish the work of Jesus our Savior.
Well James, difficulties seem to diminish my joy.
That’s because in those moments when difficulty surrounds us, we take our eyes off of the source of joy and effectively let our joy be stolen. In those moments, we are like Peter when he began to walk to Jesus among the crashing waves. He was fine when he kept his eyes and heart on Jesus. But then he began to look at the waves and doubt creeped in, causing him to sink. We must keep our eyes on Jesus.
Second, look to Jesus.
This may sound simple, but it’s the most powerful step we can take in the middle of trials and difficulties.
Remember our summary of Psalm 16? “God desires that we experience the fullness of joy in Him by setting our eyes on Jesus.”
Fighting for proper focus on Jesus is massive. We must train our hearts and purpose within ourselves that whenever hard moments happen, I will run to God.
One way that we look to Jesus is what we saw earlier in v3 about the body of Christ and the joy of being among his people. Being with God’s people should stir up our mutual joy in the Lord.
Psalm 122:1 tells us, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
We need to find joy in being together as a church.
George Mueller, a man of great faith and immense joy in the trials, gives this reminder: “The secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself … Above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord.”
And just like Mueller, we can find that joy when we look to Jesus in God’s Word and through prayer. And remember! Don’t forget what God has done. The Bible is full of stories of God’s faithfulness, but so is our own lives. Remember how God has been faithful, grow your gratefulness, and rejoice!
God desires that we experience the fullness of joy in Him by setting our eyes on Jesus. If you haven’t put your faith and hope in Jesus, you won’t know the fullness of his joy either. God is calling you to believe and be saved.
And if you do believe and lack joy, remove sin from your life. Seek the safeguarding of Jesus. God is calling you to experience the fullness of his joy in Christ.
Let’s this be a prayer for us today as we conclude this series:
“Lord, keep us and preserve us. Turn our attention to you and remove anything from us that would take your place. Grant us deep abiding joy in Jesus. Thank you for loving us. We pray this in the name and power of Jesus, amen!”