Joy is Not Optional

“The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.”   –Henry Ward Beecher

The last several days have been quite difficult.  I have lived in a separated state with the Lord and that is not anything that I can long tolerate or endure.  I have gone into this period of self-hatred with eyes wide shut and quite ashamed with my own stupidity.  I am not a saint, I am a 100% sinner, through and through.

I have come to see Nehemiah‘s ministry was only superficially building up the walls of JerusalemRebuilding the walls was just a pretext to rebuilding a people.  They were defeated and overwhelmed.  Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).

13 Things About What the Bible Says About Joy:

  1. Jesus’ aim in all He taught was the joy of His people (Jn. 15:11).
  2. Joy is what God fills us with when we trust in Christ (Rom. 15:13).
  3. The kingdom of God is joy (Rom. 14:17).
  4. Joy is the fruit of God’s Spirit within us (Gal. 5:22).
  5. Joy is the aim of everything the apostles did and wrote (2 Cor. 1:24).
  6. Becoming a Christian is finding a joy that makes you willing to forsake everything (Mat. 13:44).
  7. Joy is nourished and sustained by the word of God in the Bible (Ps. 19:8).
  8. Joy will overtake all sorrow for those who trust Christ (Ps. 126:5; 30:5)
  9. God Himself is our joy (Psm. 43:4; 16:11). Joy in God outstrips all earthly joy (Ps. 4:7)
  10. If your joy is in God, no one can take your joy from you (Jn. 16:22).
  11. God calls all nations and peoples to join in the joy He offers to all who believe. No racism. No ethnocentrism (Ps. 67:4; Ps. 66:1).
  12.  The whole Christian message from beginning to end is good news of great joy (Lk. 2:10; Isa. 51:11).
  13. When we meet Christ at His second coming we will enter into his indestructible joy (Mt. 25:23).

 List by John Piper

I believe that  joy should mark a person of spiritual health.  Joy is to be embedded into our character for all to see.  Without joy we no longer can rebuild our walls, and we toss aside our tools.  The work of restoration is intense, and unless we take joy in the Lord we will falter and fail.

“God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.”Jeremy Taylor

aabryplain

About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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2 Responses to Joy is Not Optional

  1. Bryan, I thought you must be enduring a difficult time. God bless you. Satan is so busy, what is a trip up to Alaska from where I live in the south for him? May Christ’s palm cradle you and His peace encompass you through and through. I remind myself that this is but a vapor, eternity is forever. Will be a happier day over there. For what it’s worth, life here in The Snake Pit was only salvaged today by another saint’s good news. He is possibly getting his kidney/pancreas transplant today! So Satan did not smother me today, I rejoice!

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  2. I struggle with negative cycles related to depression. I find myself talking myself into more depression than I already have, out of laziness and pride — trying to prove my down moods are not just inevitable, but right. But thank you for reminding me that that’s not how God wants me to handle it.

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