Don’t Give Up Your Joy

There are so many things and people in the world that wants your joy.  We must be wary of who and what we give our joy too.  In today’s sermon, we’re going to look at the joy of the genuine believer and focus on for a thought- don’t give up your joy.  My key verse for today’s sermon will come from the gospel according to St. John. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.John 16:22 NKJV Listen to this sermon: Click here …

There are so many things and people in the world that wants your joy.  We must be wary of who and what we give our joy too.  In today’s sermon, we’re going to look at the joy of the genuine believer and focus on for a thought- don’t give up your joy.  My key verse for today’s sermon will come from the gospel according to St. John.

22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

John 16:22 NKJV
Listen to this sermon:

Click here if you would like to watch this sermon

The Georgia Mass Choir sang a song about joy back when I was a child in the early 90s.  They sang, “Joy, joy, God’s great joy.  Joy, joy, down in my soul. Sweet, beautiful, soul saving joy! Oh, joy, joy in my soul!  It is an absolutely beautiful song.  What do you know about that joy?  Do you have that joy?  If you have that joy, tell somebody that you got that joy! 

You see, our joy is a special kind of joy.  To be clear, when I say “our”, I am talking about all of us genuine believers and true worshipers of the Lord.  Our joy separates us from those who seek to find joy in the world.  You may ask yourself if you do not genuinely believe, “what makes your joy so special?”

What separates the genuine believer’s joy from someone who seeks or may find joy in the world is Christ.  Jesus says (John 15:11), “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  The genuine believer’s joy is not a joy that comes from anything in the world; our joy was given to us by Christ.  The joy of the world is temporary, which is why so many people are constantly seeking things to give them joy.  This is also the reason why so many people can have their joy ruined by something in the world.  Yet, Jesus says to us in our key verse (John 16:22), “your joy no one will take from you.”  Nobody or nothing can take your joy from you.

We, the true worshipers of the Lord, are commanded to share our joy.  We will touch on more of this in a little bit, but I want to say… Though we are commanded to share of our joy, we must be careful w

Our joy described through scripture

I have already explained what makes our joy so special, but I want to take a moment to describe the joy that Christ has given to us.  Many times we don’t realize how important something is to us until we can understand that something.  Joy is a word that often gets tossed around to describe happiness, but such definition is not appreciative of the joy given to us by Christ.

Jesus took time to actually describe to us the joy that He has given to us.  Jesus, speaking to His disciples about what He was going to soon face (betrayal, arrest, crucifixion) spoke to them about how the joy that’s in them would help them to overcome many things (John 16:16-33).  In this passage, I want you to see what Jesus compares our joy too.

21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

John 16:21 NKJV

Jesus likens our joy to that of a woman who is in labor.  I am not a woman so I will never understand what a woman goes through during childbirth.  I have certainly heard women talk about the pain of childbirth so I certainly know of the anguish.  However, I also know that women have the most beautiful smile you will see when they first get to see the child they have given birth too.  Most certainly, her hour has come to deliver and she goes through the travail of childbirth, but as soon as the baby is put in their hands – pure joy!

I have heard on several occasions and seen with my own eyes the glow of a woman during her pregnancy and after her pregnancy.  People often say that a woman glows when she is truly in love, but let me tell you, that glow has nothing on the glow of a woman carrying a child. Jesus compares our joy to this! I say to you today that the Christian joy glows!

We are shining lights in the world (Philippians 2:15).  Yes, we may have sorrows because sorrow is a part of life, but our joy still remains; that glow is still there shining through our sorrow.  Our joy, the joy given to us by Christ overcomes that sorrow!  Remember, Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33).

To define our joy even more.  Our joy is like a beautiful song of brass and strings.  This song plays from our heart (soul) and because it’s coming from the heart, it plays so loud that the world can hear this song!  Not only do Christians glow in this world, but the aura and song that comes from the Christian is astounding.  Do you see how our joy is now defined?  This understanding should give your joy a bit more significance in your life.

Hostility towards our joy

Though we have a beautiful glow as genuine believers, I must say that our glow is not for everybody.  Though we have a beautiful song as genuine believers, I must say that this music is not music to the ears of many.  I am going to be frank now:  our joy really angers and moves many people to hatred.

There’s an attack on three fronts to Christian joy that we must be aware of.  I say this because we, as true and genuine worshipers of the Lord, must be careful of who and what we give our joy too.  Yes, our joy is meant for everybody, but we must also realize their are many who want to siphon the joy out of us and leave us joyless.

We live in a world where misery truly does love company.  There are truly some people in our world who are miserable folks who have no joy inside of them.  Understand, these folks are full of hatred and they will do whatever they can to drive you to be just like them.  Solomon said (Proverbs 14:30) that envy is rottenness to the bone.  There are many whose bones are absolutely rotten; so rotten that the hatred takes on physical manifestations.  I often wonder to myself, “why are these people so angry?  They have the world, yet they are still mad. Why?”

From the world (non-believers)

Jesus gives us an answer to these questions and much of it deals with understanding.  Jesus first says to us about the world’s hatred:

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

John 15:18 NKJV

Why would they hate Jesus?  Jesus was hated in His day because He preached and taught against both their “religion” and their logic.  They could not understand what Jesus was teaching and because they could not understand, their anger grew hot against Him.  Because of this, they sought to kill Jesus and they did kill Him physically.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:19 NKJV

Jesus says to us, “if you were like them, they would love you”.  If your thoughts were like their thoughts, they would have no problem with you.  If your ways were like their ways, they would have no problem with you.  However, your thoughts and ways are inline with Christ; it gives you great joy.  They cannot understand why you go to Church, why Jesus give you so much joy, so they seek to destroy that joy.

They say, “you don’t have to go to church.”  They say, “Jesus hasn’t come back and it’s been over 2000 years so why you still believe in Him?”  Again, it makes you wonder, why do they care so badly?  Some “study” and come up with all that they have studied to prove that your joy is false.

From the religious ones

I want to warn you that your joy is also under attack from the “religious” ones as well.  You may say, “well, Rev, aren’t you a ‘religious’ person?”  I want you to understand that I am not a religious person – I am a man of faith in the Lord.  You see, as I preached last Sunday, there’s a difference between the true worshipers of the Lord and those who worship out of religion.

The people that worship out of religion just might be some of the most dangerous folks in the world.  There is nothing genuine about their faith in the Lord, but they are completely genuine in their beliefs.  Jesus faced off many times against this group of people in His day.  They were serving as scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  Let’s use some scripture to shine some light on the religion crowd.

They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

John 16:2 NKJV

Those that practice their beliefs will put you out of the synagogues is what Jesus said to the disciples.  What the disciples would teach would go against their beliefs and things that they taught in the synagogue.  These folks were willing to kill and did kill in the name of God.  Jesus says that these folks truly believe they will be doing the work of the Lord!  I tell you, there are many people among us who say they are doing the work of the Lord but their work is not of the Lord.  Their work is simply of their beliefs, their

And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

John 16:3 NKJV

Their work is not of the Lord because they do not know the Lord.  Not only do they not know the Lord, but they do not know His only begotten Son as well.  Listen, if they do not know the Lord or His Son, there is no joy inside of their soul!  All they have is their religion, and they will claim that their religion comes from the Lord.

Instead of turning over the tables inside of themselves, opening their eyes and seeing the errors of their ways, they will continue in their hatred.  Paul was like these people!  Paul led the persecution against many early Christians; he even oversaw the stoning of Stephen (Acts 22:20).  However, Paul’s eyes were opened and he saw the errors of his ways and turned from the errors of his way.  Joy flooded into Paul’s heart and he went on to write most of the New Testament.

You see, joy is what drives us true worshipers and genuine believers of the Lord!  Joy is why we wake up on Sunday morning and go to church to worship and fellowship with one another.  Joy is why we are able to overcome the things that cripple and overcome others.  Our world is full of things that attack our joy.  From natural disasters to the mass shootings that we have seen in the past week, our joy is under a barrage of attacks.  I tell you that your joy can help you overcome so hold on to that joy that comes from Christ!  Do not become a joyless Christian.

Joyless Christianity is a great danger

What drives the animosity towards the Christian’s joy can only be traced back to one person – Satan.  Understand this, Satan wants to take and kill your joy by any means necessary.  Why so?  When you take the joy out of somebody professing to be a Christian, you can kill that person’s faith.  When you take that joy out of them, all that’s left is routine and habit – that’s to say religion.

There are many joyless “Christians” who we talked about in the religious ones.  I don’t want you to become joyless in your faith because a joyless Christian is a danger to everybody around them.  For us, we must be concerned with who and what we are giving our joy too.  We must be careful with who and what we choose to let into our life.  Satan is a great thief and he wants to have your joy.

Satan, ever since he proclaimed he would raise himself up higher than the Lord, has been on a tear to still from God (Isaiah 14:30).  Satan caused some of the Lord’s angels to fall with him in his rebellion against the Lord (Revelation 12:7-9).  Satan then stole mankind’s righteousness in the garden when he caused man to sin.  Understand, Satan is still on a mission to steal from the Lord – Jesus says as much.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” says Jesus (John 10:10).  However, Jesus says that He has come so that we can have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).  Jesus will not allow Satan to take His joy from you!  However, we have the ability to give our joy over to the devil and sadly many of us have done this.  So, I say to you today, don’t give that devil your joy.  Your joy is your life – it is precious!  Treat that joy that has been given to you with very special care.

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About Pastor Leo H. McCrary II

Rev. Leo H. McCrary II

Rev. Leo H. McCrary II was licensed to preach August 12, 2012, and ordained April 28, 2013. Currently pastors at Christian Unity in Douglasville, GA and online through New Found Faith.

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