1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always
Many unhappy people in the world – for all the wrong reasons
What People Think Will Make Them UnHappy
Some mistakenly think that other people, places, events and things beyond their control determine their happiness.
It’s in our DNA and we cannot help ourselves –
It was because of the where and how I grew up. I had a bad upbringing in a bad neighborhood in a bad school with bad teachers.
Don’t get me wrong, these things when they are right and good present less of a problem than when they are bad, but they are only bumps in the road that can be driven over or gone around.
I am unhappy because I don’t have all the toys that other people have, I don’t get to go to all the exotic places they go, I don’t get sex drugs and rock and roll or ______.
I am telling you right now that those things or whatever they are….are not the deciding factors of your happiness.
You don’t have to take my word for it:
God Says Those Things Do Not Make Us Happy
Luke 12:15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Our lives are not to be made up of the things that we possess. Materialism is not to our main pursuit. In the end we will find out that not only is coveting a sin, but it takes our eyes off of God, is unfulfilling and leads to more sin.
Having more things will not make you happy
Example of Solomon:
Ecclesiastes 2:10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.
Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
When we read Solomon (as well as other parts of the Bible) we need to recognize the point of view that he is addressing. Sometimes it is the ungodly that is being spoken of and other times the Godly.
Proverbs 15:21 Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.
Proverbs 15:21 [Foolish behavior Stupidity] [only brings happiness and delight] to those who are [void of wisdom; senseless and lacks understanding] ….
Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite (impious or ungodly) is but for a moment?
Passing pleasures of sin [example of Moses]
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.
Does God Want You Happy?
Happy (blessed) v Joy Happy = blessed KJV Scripture typically translates the word for “happy” as “blessed.”
There is a correlation, but not exactly what we are talking about today even though I will use “happy” interchangeably with “joy”
Does God want you happy and joyous? Of course
Is your long term joy God’s number one priority for you?
Is your immediate happiness God’s number one priority for you?
This is the key to understanding this subject!
Is it God’s #1 priority for us? Is our immediate happiness and joyfulness God’s foremost concern and expectation for us? NO!
How and why do we know this? Ultimately, we will forever be happy in the presence of God, but getting there might not be via a path that we think of as pleasant.
But nonetheless we are, as Christians, to focus on the long-term in all that we do.
We must be happy
Joy is a fruit of spirit
If you have the holy spirit then you MUST be happy.
Not only does God want you to be happy but He EXPECTS you to be filled with joy
Joy in suffering, trials and tribulation
Matthew 5:10 Blessed [same word as happy] are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Notice how the followers of Christ put this into action, showing that it can be done
Acts 5:38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;
Acts 5:39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
Acts 5:40 And they agreed with him [Gamaliel], and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
Acts 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
After beatings and scourgings they were joyous
We can have joy in these situations
Even knowing that it coming, and it is, we can and should still be joyous
Hebrews 10:30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:
Hebrews 10:33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;
Hebrews 10:34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
Hebrews 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Hebrews 10:37 “FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME AND WILL NOT TARRY.
Hebrews 10:38 NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; BUT IF ANYONE DRAWS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.”
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Think of all that Paul went through for his beliefs
Which of these have you gone through?
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “IN AN ACCEPTABLE TIME I HAVE HEARD YOU, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION I HAVE HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.
2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 6:5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;
2 Corinthians 6:6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 6:8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
2 Corinthians 6:9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;
2 Corinthians 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Acts 16:22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
Acts 16:24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Acts 16:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
1 Thessalonians 1:6 YLT and ye–ye did become imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
It produces good fruit
This is why James said what he did in:
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
This is why Peter said
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
1 Peter 4:13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
Romans 5:4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Joy in correction
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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Hebrews 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM;
Hebrews 12:6 FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
Hebrews 12:7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Job went through a long, arduous, and extensive trial and here is what he had to say:
Job 5:17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
Where does joy come from?
Put God in our lives.
God wants to be a part of our lives as our Father. We need to seek Him while He may be found.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight….
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 28:14 Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
This is crucial, it comes from God but we have our part to do in it though
Word of God
Joy comes from the words in your Bible.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
God made us and gave us an instruction manual
In it is everything that we need to know to live a joyous life
Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness [most often translated joy], But the expectation of the wicked will perish.
Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;
Proverbs 16:20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.
Proverbs 14:21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Luke 2:10 YLT And the messenger said to them, `Fear not, for lo, I bring you good news of great joy, that shall be to all the people–
A way of life
Philippians 1:25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—
1 John 1:2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—
1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Gill: Concerning the deity and eternity of Christ, the Word and concerning the truth of his humanity, and the manifestation of him in the flesh; and concerning that eternal life and salvation which is declared in the Gospel to be in him; and concerning the saints’ fellowship one with another, and with God the Father, and with Jesus Christ:
In our walk with others
2 Corinthians 7:2 Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.
2 Corinthians 7:3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
2 Corinthians 7:7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.
2 Corinthians 7:8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.
2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. [not only Paul but the angels rejoiced; Luke 15:10] For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
|2 Corinthians 7:11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
2 Corinthians 7:12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.
2 Corinthians 7:13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
2 Corinthians 7:14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.
2 Corinthians 7:15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.
2 Corinthians 7:16 Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.
Everyone was rejoicing
3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
1 Corinthians 12:23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
1 Corinthians 12:24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,
1 Corinthians 12:25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.
Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
We are all in this together, all a part of the body of Christ. When one suffers, we all suffer.
The hope of the future
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
We have choices in this world
John 16:19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’?
John 16:20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
John 16:21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
John 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
John 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
It is a matter of perspective
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Christ did both. John 11:35
A time to cry Ezekiel 9:4
With the right perspective
Not focusing on the here and now; realizing the time that we live in that these are first world problems
These are the lesser things to suffer; great tribulation coming
We are to look at what is to come
We have help
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
Philippians 4:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
And with His help we can have hope in sorrow, trials and persecutions and tribulations;
and it can be great, abundant, exceeding and above all
Always in hope,