1. In John 14-16 Jesus spoke to His disciples to calm their troubled hearts. 2. The Lord spoke to the disciples about special blessings, including: a. comfort (John 14:18) b. peace (John 14:27) c. love (John 14:21) d. joy (John 15:11). 3. In John 15:11 Jesus mentioned the things that He had spoken to the disciples. 4. The Lord's words would have a tremendous impact upon the disciples. a. His joy would remain in them. b. Their joy might be full. 5. The disciples would need this assurance in the days ahead (John 16:20, 22). 6. Today we are emphasizing the fact that "the Lord's Word provides joy." Discussion: I. THE LORD'S WORD TEACHES US TO BE FILLED WITH JOY
A. Consider the instructions given in: 1. Galatians 5:22-23 -- Joy is one of the nine characteristics that collectively make up "the fruit of the Spirit." 2. Philippians 3:1 -- "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord." 3. Philippians 4:4 -- "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." 4. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -- "Rejoice evermore." B. Not only does the Lord's Word teach us to be filled with joy, but it also teaches when we are to be filled with joy -- "always" and "evermore." 1. To be more specific, the Bible teaches us to be filled with joy when we undergo trials (James 1:1-2; Matthew 5:10-12). 2. Thankfully, we have some positive examples in this area, including: a. the apostles (Acts 5:40-41) b. Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25) c. Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). C. Before we go further, we must understand what the Lord requires of us. 1. We often think of joy as a feeling of happiness that is based on some pleasant experience. 2. The joy we are considering is the gladness of heart that a Christian possesses because he has a right relationship with the Lord. a. This type of joy is not based on how well things are going for us. b. This type of joy can be experienced when things are not going well for us. D. In addition to teaching us to be filled with joy, . . . II. THE LORD'S WORD TEACHES US HOW TO AVOID LOSING OUR JOY
A. We must put away "the works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:19-21) because they will rob us of joy (Psalm 32:1-5). B. We must practice the Lord's teachings (John 15:10-11). C. We must avoid anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7). D. We must think properly (Philippians 4:8-9). Conclusion:
1. "Joy" is certainly an important part of Christianity. 2. We have reason to rejoice when we become Christians. a. The eunuch rejoiced after he was baptized (Acts 8:35-39). b. We learn why he rejoiced in 2 Corinthians 5:17. 3. We are to continue rejoicing after we become Christians. 4. By following the guidelines that the Lord has given in His Word we will not lose our joy.