Text: John 16:16-24
Christians not only ought to be, but are the happiest people on earth. Maybe you’ve met some in a temporary state of sorrow, but as a whole the child of God spending regular time with the Lord is the most joyful soul. The Bible says as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. In tragedy, a redeemed soul cannot escape the truth that here and now is as bad as it will ever be and there is always a more glorious future that he is heading toward.
Joy is the second fruit of the spirit; second on Paul’s list in Galatians. Fruit comes naturally. Fruit comes from a seed that is planted, dead in the ground, sprouts up, then yields. The resurrection of Jesus Christ would be the sprouting of his life that would be sacrificed, dead, buried in the ground, then risen to bear fruit.
Jesus Christ produces joy in His people
- The sorrow has to do with the Lord’s absence.
- The Lord Jesus didn’t get on to the disciples for their sorrow because it was an appropriate sorrow.
- John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
- There is no substitute for joy in Jesus Christ. And we take joy in the things He takes joy in. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
- If thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ can’t budge your heart and mind toward joy, it’s time to get clean, or better yet, get saved!
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice in the Lord alway
Joy is the natural state of a child of God
- But your sorrow shall be turned into joy (vs 20)
- Temporary sorrow – There are seven little whiles in the verses and some foreshadowing of prophecy for the nation of Israel in a seven year tribulation. The Lord Jesus Christ however is speaking more practically to His disciples about the very near future. Though the record of the Holy Spirit lets you know there are multiple layers to the words of God and many depths to draw from.
- The little while is a reference to his death, burial, and resurrection.
- Joy is the natural state of a child of God because joy is the natural state of their home in heaven.
Joy forgets what is behind
- The Lord illustrates the joy with a new mother giving birth to a son. She neither remembers nor even cares to remember the morning sickness, the pain, the emotions. Doctor says, “It’s a boy!” There is joy, the old is passed away behold all things are become new.
- Resurrection is as a birth where the Son of God.
- Deliverance in the resurrection by Jesus Christ – Romans 1:3-4
- Begotten of the Holy Ghost as a child born of a virgin, begotten of the Father in the resurrection from the dead.
- Revelation 12:5
- Old things are passed away and behold all things are become new.
- Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Joy is the strength of God’s people
- Can I be personal for a minute? As the world encroaches on my time with Jesus Christ, the joy of the Christian life is squeezed out. And as the joy of the Christian life is squeezed out, the energy and spiritual motivation to serve God is squeezed out.
- Interesting study on anorexia, people who starve themselves. Many of the symptoms thought to be from anorexia were simply symptoms of starvation – meaning the body does not have enough fuel to run.
- Sociological consequences – Like a Christian who has lost their joy, and consequently their strength, a starving soul will become more isolated and withdrawn. Relationships become strained under a general lack of desire for social interaction.
- Physiological consequences – inability to pay attention, mental functions slow down along with metabolism, organs begin to process protein and begin to cannibalize muscle for nourishment. Makes me think of Christians who live on the past since there is no present nourishment, all that can be talked about is what happened years ago.
- 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.
- Lose your joy you lose your strength.
- The locusts of sin have caused a famine of spiritual food in your life. There is no crop. There is no food. And you have no energy or desire to serve God. Some Christians are resigned to live in spiritual starvation until they die.
- Joy is your strength, joy is your supply of energy.
- All hope was lost. Everything the disciples staked their lives on would seem to be done. Joy tied to the resurrection. When the disciples knew Jesus Christ was not dead, but resurrected, how do you put a damper on that?! To live is Christ, to die is gain.
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Acts 5:40-42 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Joy is God’s desire for His people
- When your prayers are directed at fruit bearing in your life, be prepared for the answer.