CHAPTER 9: JOY
Only Christians have a reason to be joyful and every Christian should be joyful.
We are commanded to be joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
We are to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4)
It is a contradiction for a Christian who professes to be a child of the one and only God (who created the universe and everything in it) to exhibit gloominess.
COMMON HINDRANCES TO JOY
1. Sin in our lives, sinful attitudes in our hearts
Christian Joy = enjoyment of God, fruit of our communion with Him
When we don’t experience joy, we should examine our hearts and lives. Have we done something displeasing to God? Is there something we need to confess and forsake? Are we holding on to a sinful attitude like envy or resentment?
Sin breaks the communion and enjoyment of God’s presence
2. Misplaced confidence
e.g. putting confidence in the flesh, on our good works or religious attainment
3. Chastening, discipline from God
4. Experiencing trials of faith
Trials exercise our faith, it is not meant to punish us or deal with sin in our lives.
Joy is the fruit of the Spirit. The effect of His ministry in our hearts.
To be able to grow and develop spiritually, we are responsible to read God’s word, commune with Him and study His word. God makes us grow, but without His word & communion with Him, we will stay stuck where we are.
Aids to Joy:
1. Confess & forsake sin
2. Trust in God