This podcast covers Lesson 11 of Profiles of Perseverance Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength
We started this study by looking at Hebrews chapter 12 verses 1 and 2.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, … For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
For the joy set before him, our Lord Jesus Christ endured the shame and pain of the cross. And, in that time of extreme trouble, Jesus looked ahead to the joy He would experience after He persevered through His earthly life. Joy is a reward for perseverance.
What is joy?
- Most people define joy as a feeling of happiness when you’re smiling and laughing a lot. And, they think that happiness comes from “good happenings.” But, what happens if things are not so good? Can you really have joy then?
- The word “joy in the Bible refers to having a deep inner gladness, regardless of the circumstances going on around you. That means whether you are rich or poor, sick or healthy, successful or struggling, you can still have a feeling of gladness or pleasure deep down inside. Now, you may not feel like smiling on the outside, but you can still smile on the inside.
Joy is in God’s character.
- God has joy whenever anyone comes to Him to have his or her sins forgiven by faith in His Son Jesus. The Bible describes lots of rejoicing in heaven at that time.
- God has pleasure in His creation. We see that in Job and In Psalms a lot. The Father God has joy in what His hands have made, especially His creatures. That includes you. Does that make you smile inside to think that God finds pleasure in you?
- God expresses His joy. In His love for you, God rejoices over you with singing. He takes delight in you because you trust in Him. Zephaniah 3:17
God gives us His joy.
- A sense of joy pervades the Bible. It is seen as the enthusiastic response of the community worshiping and praising God. It’s seen as people celebrate who God is and what He has done for them in the past.
- God’s joy comes to us from a relationship with Him through knowing Jesus Christ. Jesus, who was God, had God’s joy in Jesus promised to give His joy to His disciples so that it would be in them, also. John 15:11
- God’s joy is given to those who have not seen Jesus but have believed in Him. The moment you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. And, He gives you God’s glorious, uncontainable joy as a fruit of His presence. 1 Peter 1:8
God’s joy makes us strong.
The joy of the Lord is God’s joy. He has it, and when He gives it to His people, it makes them strong.
- God’s joy makes us strong in giving us the assurance of His presence during the best times of life and during those miserable, painful times of life.
- God’s joy in us gives us the courage to face tough times because we know He is with us. Jesus is our example of how to endure difficulties, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart.
- God’s joy in us gives us hope and confidence in what God is doing in any situation. So, we can have the ability to smile on the inside even if things are going wrong on the outside.
- God’s joy wells up within us and motivates us to serve others in love. We want to share His joy so that others will experience His joy, too.
God’s joy leads us to share in God’s delight
- God’s joy leads us to take pleasure or delight in the same things that delight God. We delight in justice. We delight in approaching life God’s way more than our own way or the world’s way. We delight in studying His Word the Bible, in doing what pleases Him, and in praising Him.
- It is not wrong for a Christian to have pleasure or to seek pleasure. It is only wrong to seek pleasure in the things that are selfish.
- Christians filled with God’s joy should find many reasons to laugh and delight in life. We can serve God with delight. We can love our families and friends with delight. We can enjoy nature.
- We can celebrate God’s goodness to us. Celebration is a biblical concept. God often called His people together for a time of celebration. It was woven into the fabric of their calendars so they would remember God’s goodness to them. Why not have a yearly celebration of the time when we trusted in Christ or chose to really commit our lives to him?
- One day, our joy will be even greater in heaven when we are with Jesus and can have the delight of seeing Him with our own eyes. Oh, glorious joy!
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4, NASB).”
We can have hope because we have God with us. So, remember our lane markers for the race.
#1. Choose to persevere through every challenge.
#2. Count on God’s promise to give you hope.
#3. Let that hope sustain you through the rough-and-tumble of life.
#4. Celebrate the joyful reward.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with hope so you can persevere through life.
I’m Melanie Newton, and you’ve been listening to Satisfied Series Four. I hope you will join me for another series and continue to be satisfied by His love.
Joyful Walk Bible Studies by Melanie Newton are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.