From Joyless to Joyful
Get Your Joy Again
- Summary: Lost your joy? Don’t feel the sense of excitement and wonder you felt in your early Christian years? God understands, and He has provided simple ways for you to get your joy back.
I was sitting in a coffee shop in southern Oregon. At a table nearby I saw an older couple that I knew were Christians. For the 15-20 minutes that I observed them, what stood out to me was the complete, utter lack of joy on their faces. This surprised me, because I knew that they attended a good, Spirit-filled church in our city.
I realize that there are many very real reasons why people at any given time might not feel too joyful. Things like illness, relational problems, employment situations, perhaps even a death in the family. I understand that. But what I want to address today, in this message, is the fact that many sincere Christians confess that in an ongoing sense they have “lost their joy”. If that is you, my encouragement to you today is this: You don’t need to stay joyless! God has made many provisions to bring back your joy again. Come, see, and receive a new impartation of the joy of the Lord.
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Psalm 85:6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
1) Admit to God that you’ve lost your joy, and ask Him to restore that joy.
- •• Pray — “Lord, restore my joy ... the joy of my salvation.”
- • James wrote (4:2): “You do not have because you do not ask God.”
• Are you joyless? Stop everything else ... get alone with God ... sincerely pray to Him to rekindle your joy.
- •• Not joy in natural things, but joy in lasting things — “the joy of [your] salvation”!
- • Take time to reflect on your “great salvation” —
- • Because of Jesus, your sins are forgiven.
• God is your Father, and He loves you.
• He has given you His Holy Spirit to lead you, strengthen you, empower you...
- • Reflect on these great things, and watch your joy grow.
Ezra 3:12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.
2) Remember that today is a new day. Go forward! God has given you this day to be a day of joy.
- •• Some of the elderly in Israel were longingly looking backward to the “good old days” and were weeping. But others properly saw what God was doing in their day (that is, the restored temple) and rejoiced over it, shouting for joy.
•• Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
- • I’m historically thankful for the great move of God many of us experienced in the 1970s, but today is the day God has given us ... to be glad in IT!
• Today is a day for the winning of souls, for the healing of sick bodies, for answered prayers.
- •• Psalm 30:5 ...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
- • Maybe yesterday was a bummer. Today is a new day from the Lord, intended by Him for your joy.
• Depression, sadness, discouragement, and the like don't need to get a permanent hold on your life and emotions. Rejoicing can return, if you treat each day as a new day from the Lord.
Psalm 33:1, 3 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.... Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
3) Singing and shouting to the Lord can turn heaviness of heart into joy.
- •• Vocal rejoicing is contagious! Try it, and you’ll “catch it.”
- • Downcast? Try singing for 5 minutes: “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord reigns...” or any other favorite worship song.
• In worship services, give yourself to joyful singing.
• I recall a respected Canadian evangelist speaking of a tent meeting he held in a Caribbean nation. By Holy Ghost revelation, he saw a ring of demons surrounding the tent during the service. He shouted “Hallelujah!" and noticed the ring of demons back up a bit. So he shouted “Hallelujah!” again, and once more the demons backed up. He continued to do this until they were gone from sight. As he told it, the Hallelujahs ran the demons off. So sing and shout to the Lord, and watch things improve!
- • Isaiah 61:3 ...a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. As with clothing, praise is something we can deliberately put on. One of the best things a downcast person can do is to do what the worship song taken from this verse says: “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!”
Psalm 42:4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
4) Find great joy in being in “the house of God,” the church.
- •• Give yourself to worshiping ... be touched by the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit ... let God’s Word stir you ... let the fellowship of likeminded believers uplift you.
•• I personally find joy in being in an assembly of believers whose hearts are seeking after God.
•• My heart is strengthened by the common worship, the gifts of the Spirit, the Word of God, the time of prayer for needs afterwards.
•• If your church has a midweek service, try attending that, too. It gives you an additional opportunity each week to have a joy-building encounter with God in Word, worship, fellowship, and spiritual gifts.
Luke 10:20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
5) Find joy in the thought of eternity in heaven.
- •• You don't often hear Christians talk of heaven.
- • Yet the NIV Bible speaks 404 times of “heaven” (singular).
• Colossians 1:5 speaks of the hope stored up for us in heaven.
• Jesus rejoiced at the prospect of returning to heaven (John, ch. 17). We believers should find joy, too, in the sure prospect of a heavenly home.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son...
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
6) There is much joy in the knowledge that you are loved by God.
- •• Despite our sins and our carnal nature
•• Not because of any good works we have done, but because of His love and grace towards us.
•• No matter who else on earth doesn’t love you, God loves you!
So don’t stay joyless, if you're feeling that way —
- 1. Admit it, and ask God to restore your joy.
2. See today as a new day, a day from God for rejoicing.
3. Take time to sing and cry out to the Lord from your heart.
4. Along with others, find joy in the “house of the Lord”.
5. Think often of, and be encouraged by, your hope in heaven.
6. Be blessed and uplifted by the unshakable fact that God Almighty loves you.
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©2013, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.