What’s The Difference? Part IV: Joy!
Thoughts related to Casey Ingold’s Sermon, Covenant Baptist Church, April 10th, 2011
This week Casey continued his series on what makes the Christian life different from a life without Christ. As he pointed out, our lives in Christ should be characterized by joy. As we can see in the announcement to the shepherds of Jesus’ birth, joy is the natural result of the entrance of the Savior into the world:
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11) We trot this verse out at Christmas time but we should read it to ourselves every day. This is good news! God has sent us a Savior! This is the main source of our joy. (Isaiah 40:1-11; 52:7; 61:1; Acts 13:32-33; Romans 10:15)
Why Does The Christian Have Joy?
Below are some verses that provide reasons why we Christians should be full of joy.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.
Our lives have meaning and purpose. We are not cosmic accidents.
God loves us/We are his Children.
The Creator of the universe loves us unconditionally.
God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
These verses are an overwhelming list of God’s blessings for believers. (It’s like drinking from a fire hose – you will never take in all of it!)
We can have joy, even in suffering.
When we suffer, we can know we are not the victims of blind, meaningless fate. God is always at work in our suffering, using it for good.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
True joy is a gift of the Spirit. It is supernatural.
We will ultimately spend eternity with Jesus
Our lives here on earth culminate in eternal life in the presence of God. We will be like Him, without sin, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
A profound joy should undergird every part of our lives as Christians. We are heirs of Christ and can look forward to the blessed hope of being with Him forever.
This is not a foolish, giddy happiness based on nothing. That is all the world can offer. This is a joy based on who we are in Christ and on the fact that God has redeemed us. May we all experience this true joy, a gift from God, every day. And may it spill out into our daily lives and draw others to the Source of our joy.