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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, March 20 2024

Contributor: Ayomide Oladipo

Last week we looked at the topic “The peace of God”. In the study we learned that ‘the peace of God is the calmness that the body, mind and spirit experience through the trusting in the power and grace of God.’ During the discussion we learned that one of the characters of God is peace - Roman 15:33, and the way live experientially a life of peace is to submit everything to God in prayer according to Philippians 4: 4-7.
Today we would be looking at the topic “The Joy of the Lord”.
The word JOY is versatile in its meaning. Its versatility means that it is not limited to a single definition, it encompasses a wide range of emotion, experience and interpretation and the form and intensity by which it manifest is dependent on individual perspective. However, literally, JOY is generally defined as a feeling of gladness, happiness, and great pleasure.
There are different types of Joy for example, true joy, false joy, lasting joy, ephemeral joy (joy that is transient/ temporary), but the best and most enduring type of JOY comes from the Lord.’

Today we would contrast all other types of JOY with ‘the JOY of the Lord’, also discuss the link between ‘the JOY of the Lord’ and ‘the peace of God’.

The JOY of the Lord
1 Peter 1:8-9: “Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.

The JOY of the Lord can simply be defined as the kind of JOY that ‘The Lord’ gives. Unlike other types of JOY, the Joy of the Lord is not a feeling, it is an expression, this type of Joy is not transient, it is a product of an acceptance of the God’s love to mankind.

Who can express the Joy of the Lord?
1.Those who love the Lord: According to (John 14:28) “You have heard how I saidunto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice,because I said, I go unto the father, for my father is greater than I”, the joy of the lordis available to those who love the Lord. Who loves the lord? Those that have acceptedJesus as their Lord and saviour.

2.Those who obey the Lord in all things: According to (John 15:10-11) “10. If yekeep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my father’scommandments and abide in his love 11. These things have I spoken unto you, thatmy joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full, the fulness of the Lord’sjoy is in those who obey him in all things.
What role does the Joy of the lord plays in a believers live?

The Joy of the Lord is our strength.
Nehemiah 8: 10
“Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The primary role of the JOY of the Lord in the life of a believer is to strengthen us. Other forms of JOY can excite, can cause someone to be cheerful but only the JOY of the Lord strengthen. The source of this JOY is Christ himself, As earlier established that the JOY of the lord is not a feeling but an expression, believers that have accepted the finished work of Jesus are able to express it because they no longer depend on their own righteousness or circumstances around them to have JOY, and because of the absolute finished work of Christ, this believers are always strengthened.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
It is important to know that it is not by power or might or human works are believers strengthened by ‘the JOY of the Lord’ it is by accepting that it is in him we live and move and have our being, so even when we are weak or fall short, we still can rejoice as apostle Paul say that he glory in his weakness, so that he can experience the power of God.
Zechariah 4:6 “So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”
The Spirit of God is the source of our Joy and strength, nothing qualifies us to express the JOY of the Lord but by receiving of the Lord as our Saviour.

Discussion: Can a believer share ‘The Joy of the Lord’ with another person? Isaiah 61:1

Experiencing the fullness of the JOY of the Lord
Psalm 16:11 “11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life, in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
The presence of the Lord is where fullness of Joy is. In Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”, the psalmist here understood that the presence of God is a place where he experiences the fulness of JOY of the Lord. God does not intend for us to only experience fullness of Joy when we converge within the walls of a church alone, it is his desire that our Joy is always full. How do we have this fullness of JOY every time, anywhere, it is by dwelling in the secret place of the most high - Psalm 91.

There is no place more delightful than the secret place of the Lord. Through consistent prayer, we are transformed to not only dwell in the presence of the Lord, but to carry the presence of the Lord within us that everywhere we go as believers, people can physically connect to the presence of God within us. Jer.15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremaiah here testifies of what meditating on the word of God did to him (Gave him JOY)

Can this JOY be lost?
Psalm 24:3-6: “3. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
A believer can indeed lose the JOY of the Lord in them when they yield to sin. As earlier established our source of JOY is the Lord through His spirit that works in us, however the devil does not want a believer to enjoy this JOY permanently, he is always looking for ways to rob a believer of access into the presence of God where we enjoy fullness of JOY. According to Psalm 15, a sinful and impure heart cannot ascend into the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 45:6-8: “8 But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

When a believer love iniquity and hates righteousness, such believer will anoint themselves with the oil of sadness.

How can it be restored?
Jeremiah 33:7-9 “7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”

Our God is a Restorer, He is committed to forgive and restore His Joy unto anyone that lost it as He did to Judah, if they humble themselves, repent and turn back to God – 2 Chronicles 7:14. "14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Discussion: Can someone have “the peace of God’ without having ‘the Joy of the Lord’?

John 17:13 “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” These was Jesus’s prayer before he left the world, which clearly shows that it is will and his prayer that we his children have his JOY in us.
He did not promise that circumstances and situations will not arise that would want to rob us his JOY, he however told us that he has overcome the world- John 16:33. Jesus paid the price for our JOY in him, this is the reason why it is not circumstance dependent, we can express it anytime any day by having faith in his finished work. While the peace of God is the calmness the body, mind and spirit experience through trusting in the power and grace of God, the JOY of the lord is an expression of gladness we experience as a result of our faith in his strength and grace.
Finally, we are also commissioned to show unbelievers the source of this JOY -Mark 16:15-16 “15 And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Prayer: Father let your JOY continue to grow stronger in me in Jesus name.

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