02 How To Have Joy

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Scripture Reading: Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Many will seek to enter but shall not be able. Love is both a state and there is also a place of love which is heaven. The description is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is kind, long suffering and temperate. All these attributes about love are nothing less than the characteristics of God. To know God is to love. He that knoweth not God does not love. Love has within it lots of attributes which we as humans enjoy. We all enjoy kindness. We all enjoy peace. We all enjoy the fruits of the spirit but they are far from us. There are many who look for joy in the world, happiness and peace. That is the broad road that leads to destruction. We looked in our last sermon at the effects of passion and how the world terms passion as love. They are two opposites but in our language they are the same word. The world teaches we fall into love but the bible teaches we fall into lust and damnation. The bible says we climb up into love. The world has a symbol of love with a little demon shooting an arrow into the heart. This is exactly what the worlds love is, it breaks your heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart [is] snares and nets, [and] her hands [as] bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

We know that the woman is Babylon, the world. Whoever tries to please the world and have worldly love, joy and characteristics will have an arrow through their heart. Love is not a downward falling but an upward growing. Here we can see this addition, a growth.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness; 7 And to Godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This addition culminates at love. You add all these things and then you add to brotherly kindness love, charity.

2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Strive To Enter In

Strive to enter in at the straight gate for many will seek to enter but not be able. Many people want love but they go for the downward approach to love that the world promotes. As Christians we are here to promote the upward love that has the attributes of God. As we come into the state of love, we should be allowed into the state of love. The state of heaven can begin here. An entrance shall be ministered unto us. Many went to the broad road and few found the straight gate. Many of the few wanted to enter in but couldn’t. This distinguishes those that want the worlds pleasures but without carrying the cross. We can term them professors. The meaning of love is in 1 Corinthians 13. The particles of love. We are looking at how to enter in and have this as your character trait so people can say of you, he is a kind person, that is a person true to their conscience and the word of God. These character traits can become ours. Verse 1 of Corinthians speaks of the vanity of life without love. It’s fruitless. You can have the spiritual gifts, it speak of desiring the highest gift which is prophecy.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Many will seek to enter in but shall not be able. Many will say, Lord, Lord, haven’t we done miracles and had this religious experience? However he says, I do not know you. He that does not have love does not know God. We can have all the externals and all the standards yet without this characteristic I am nothing, not known of God. God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Long suffering alone is not charity. We can suffer for a long time but not be kind. They blend together. One without the other is not love. They must hold hand in hand as a complete package. Complete. This complete package, we see in our saviour Jesus Christ. This package of characteristics I love to see in Jesus Christ. To see his compassion but the firmness against evil. The meekness, the boldness, this blend in Jesus is something to be desired more than gold.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Love is not happy in sin. Love is happy in truth. The aspect we will be looking at today of how to enter into love, is how to obtain real joy, rejoicing. To be happy. It won’t be happy in a social gathering that is full of drunkenness, its happy in the truth. How do we get joy?

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.

Here is this love of God and Jesus and his type of attributes. Jesus is saying that if you continue in the love of God, these attributes, if you continue in them, the joy of Jesus will be in you and that your joy will be full to the brim.

How to Get Joy and How to Enter Into Joy

If we are asking the question how to enter in it means we are not in it. If we were in it we wouldn’t be asking how. Once you’re in the house you wouldn’t be asking how to open the door as you would not be in if you didn’t know. How to get joy because in this era in which we live is the time of depression. 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25. 15% of people who have depression commit suicide. Over a million preschoolers are clinically depressed. How old is a preschooler? 4 years old. As a child, life is so joyous, not today. Depression is becoming one of the biggest medical disorders and killers of all the time. By 2020 they say depression will be the world’s second biggest killer because of the lack of joy. We are not in joy. Are we in depression? The bible gives three categories if we are not in the joy of the Lord.

John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

The world has joy. Not everyone is actually in depression. There is also the state of being rich and increased with goods and having need of nothing. The rejoicing of the world doesn’t turn into the rejoicing of God.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

In the world there are people who are happy, and people who are sad. In the Christian realm there are people who have entered into the joy of the Lord and people who haven’t, they have sorrow also.

Psalms 32:10 Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Up and down. If you’ve been on the ocean, it’s all it does. The wicked are either up or down, there is no rest. To be in a state of excitement, physically the human body cannot be in this state for a long period of time. As the wicked do not have control of their body, they go down too. What is depression? The thoughts and the anxieties that come from our being. The thoughts and anxieties that reverberate in our mind come from our upbringing. Many have deep seated feelings of inadequacy. Wondering why we don’t have any friends, real friends. We have acquaintances but not real friends. A longing to talk soul to soul. To open up all the burdens that lay in your breast but knowing that no such person is worthy of your trust. It can be feeling that people wouldn’t’ like me if they really knew me. People wouldn’t like me if they really got to know me.

Feeling what it’s like to come across as a fool. Feeling people have more abilities than me. Also feeling ugly. Admitting to your own failures. Disliking everything about yourself, wish you could be someone else. Feeling unloved, unlovable. Lonely and sad, lying in bed while everyone has gone to sleep. Pondering unconditional love. No direction, no vision, intense self pity. This is depression. In this state of feeling, all these are true without God. We are very inadequate beings. We don’t have any friends outside of God. We have not one to talk soul to soul to. No one is worthy of my trust. People wouldn’t like us if they really knew us. We are ugly. We are failures and true we can dislike everything about us. We need to be someone else. Outside of God we are unloved and unlovable. Outside of God there is no unconditional love. There is no direction, no vision, only intense self pity and depression. Without a vision, the people perish. Without a sense of someone loving me, we have no direction in life. This is how we were created. We were created in the image of God and Satan took it and marred us. To be social is still within us. This mountain with our society made today is becoming bigger and bigger because the world cannot help. This desert, experience. Dry  non-moist experience God has touched and is dealing with. God is committed to helping us. God is committed to bringing us up into the heights of love.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, [and] ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat [them] small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, [and] shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 [When] the poor and needy seek water, and [there is] none, [and] their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together: 20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

The mountain of impossibility. These feelings which make you incapable of doing anything. They are an inability. They prevent you from performing at work or at any line of work or of anything you want to do. God is saying I will not take the mountain away but I will give you an instrument and you will thresh it away and be happy. The soul that feels lonely shall be comforted. How? How do you get out of depression? How do we?

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.

An author is someone who has done it. Who has mapped it out. This is how we are to look at Jesus, as the beginning and the end of my life. This is the method in which way we ware to look. Here is something that is set before your eyes and you are to look.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Depression is the point of fainting where life is no longer desired and the life is taken. Look to Jesus and how do we look to Jesus? Here is the call to behold, ponder and consider;

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The grief’s that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. {DA 483.1}

God does not leave us to have these experiences. To look to Jesus, to compare his sorrow with yours so when you have these deep seated feelings that reverberate in your mind, as they are happening, not after, as they are happening, when you can actually feel it, that pain is in Jesus Christ. When we are happy and we come to church and we read the bible when we are feeling better, often when we are depressed, we cease to pray, and we lock into a self pity state. If we would take hold of the threshing instrument, the cross of Calvary, Gethsemane, while we have this feeling of inadequacy, while we feel we have no real friends, Jesus felt he had no real friends. He longed to talk to someone soul to soul.

He came to his disciples and they were sleeping, they didn’t have time for him. He knows the feelings to feel like a fool. He knows the feelings that, ye has no talent, he wasn’t trained, he didn’t go to the school of the prophets, these feelings come from the lower nature. Feeling like a failure. He looked at the fruits of the cross and there was none. The sheep were scattered and there was no one with him. He felt unloved and unlovable. Despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and we didn’t esteem him. We see him smitten of God. Would you be Jesus friend? If you saw him in Gethsemane, you would walk away from him. Jesus knows these feelings at the end of the day and feelings of emptiness. His cry at the cross was my God my God why hast thou forsaken, why have you left me? There was none. The woes we experience as we have them.

We need to look to Jesus and transfer that pain that is throbbing that no one else can understand. Jesus knows what it is like. We think that God is going to condemn us because of our failures but the hymn we sang was just as I am without a plea. The mistakes I’ve made, Jesus accepts you. Jesus knows the sorrows. 30% of females are in depression. There is a threshing tool that we are to use and we are to not be bound up in the Romans 7 experience. The thing I want to do I can’t. We are to come into Romans 8 freedom experience. We want to know not just how to look to Jesus in the pain to see him there exactly like me, that he can succour me, but how to go on from there. Not just to transfer the feeling, what next? What do we do now?

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

John is trying to share the fellowship that he has had with Jesus and God and I’m telling you now so you can have it to. Not just with you and God but with me/us also. Plural. What is the purpose of this fellowship? Joy. To actually come out of the state of depression, the lonely dreary desert experience can actually blossom and you can have a change of life and mind. This fellowship will fulfil your joy. Try it. The fellowship is not just in my depression state transferring the pain of Jesus Christ but its fellowship with us. If you go to the hospital if you can cancer, sometimes the therapy they give you is to meet other people with the same cancer. In the children hospital they put the children together so they can play with children with the same disease to comfort each other. Jesus is not much different. He sees the pain we have but he sees each one who has it.

All in different shades but the same. Once we see Jesus in our state with us, and the brother next door and sees Jesus in the same experience then two brother come together in the same experience. This is why Prayer Meeting and church are so important that we can have mental therapy together. That we can know that we have the same afflictions within us. God has ordained that joy is to come into fellowship. Press together is the command of the angel. These things are for our joy, fellowship. The second is in John 16. When we are in the state of discouragement, once you’ve seen Jesus, fellowship with your brothers and sisters and your joy will be full. If you don’t, if we close our eyes and ears to God and all of Gods people, it is the sorrow that we don’t get out of. People hold onto their depressive state just to feel sorry for themselves. This is not true joy. Strive to enter in.

John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

When you are in depression ask to be released. Ask God. If we don’t ask, shall we receive? Ask God to give me joy because when we ask and we receive, these things give us happiness because we know someone cares, someone is listening. I call Psalm 116 the ‘how to be joyful psalm.

Psalms 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice [and] my supplications. 2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon [him] as long as I live. 3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. 5 Gracious [is] the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God [is] merciful. 6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

What a scripture. Hold on to it. When we are in depression because we think there is no one that loves us, call for his love and he will give it to you and then you can say, he heard ME? He actually heard me? And then you can say, because you have inclined your ear, therefore I will call upon you as long as I live. If we are in depression and we know how to get out of it , next time we are in it, we know how to get out of it. Once we know how to enter in, we are familiar with the door. If you go to a house, and you know how to enter, you knock. This is the principle. When we are in depression, if we can open our eyes when we are in it, we can say, is there any sorrow like Jesus sorrow? Then fellowship with your brothers and sisters then call unto the Lord to give you joy. When you have tasted the Lord is good, how strong will your faith be? Will it be stronger? Sometimes you have a close relationship with someone and you do something and you know their reaction. How do you know what they are going to say? Because you have been in the experience before. Once you have experienced help from Jesus, you know next time you will get it and this will strengthen your faith. This is when we are worthy of Jesus. At that low point is where we are to look to Jesus.

Satan will not have us do this because he knows we are at the gate. The broad road is folly, drunkenness, rich and increased with goods nee doff nothing. Many people in a depressed state won’t come to church, because they are too depressed. I don’t feel like coming to church, but God says go and do it. Contrary to feeling, fellowship with your brothers and sisters. Have the mental therapy and ask God. Ask and ye shall receive that your joy might be full. Jesus will make you adequate. Your feeling of inadequacy. Jesus will present you faultless before the throne. Sometimes we wonder why we have no real friends. Jesus will be a friend to you. Jesus will talk soul to soul with you. Knowing that no one is worthy, Jesus is worthy of your trust.  Many women can be disappointed with men but no one need to be disappointed with Jesus Christ. He is worthy for you to open your soul to. Jesus will make you wise unto salvation. Feeling that others have more talents, go to the exchanger and get more talents. Trade your one talent into more. Feeling ugly? Jesus will clothe you with the beautify of holiness. Disliking everything about yourself? Jesus will cast that into the depth of the sea. Wishing you were someone else? Feeling unloved and unlovable? Jesus will love you as you are.

Jesus will make you a loving and lovable Christian. Wondering and longing to fill that deep sense of feeling unloved? Jesus will fulfil you. While we were yet enemies, Christ loved us. If we have no directional vision, Jesus will give it to you. He will give you eyesight for where you want to go in life. No need for intense self pity as Jesus will give you pity. Depression can be turned into joy only by Jesus Christ. Only by his converting experience. He wants you to think differently. To view things in a different matter. Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Change your mind and how you see situations through the gospel. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. When you can think differently and fellowship with your brothers and sisters when you can see someone having a trial, the person not in the trial can’t see it. This is what the bible really wants us to have this joy, not that everything will go sweetly.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Isn’t that depression? It’s about a brain function and thinking as Jesus thinks.

James 1:3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Depression is always wanting. Here is the mentality we are to have. It’s all about the way you think. Think as Jesus thinks. Ask him, Lord, I can’t see, give me thy heavenly vision, give me your understand of my own desperate situation.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

When we go through these hardships, be happy and joyous because as I’m going through this with Jesus I’m also going into heaven with Jesus. It doesn’t appear what we shall be but we know when he shall come, we will be like him. Every person who has this will purify himself even as he is pure. Rejoicing in the Lord alway. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed is happy. Happy are the poor in spirit. Are the poor in spirit happy? Not if they don’t have the converted mind. Think differently. Look at your trials in a beautiful light. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are you when you are persecuted be exceeding glad for so persecuted the prophets. Sometimes we can do wrong and be persecuted for it but when we pursue the right path, be exceeding glad, really happy.

We can be in sorrow yet always rejoicing. The scripture is profitable for instruction and today if we long for joy there are two instructions, seek fellowship with Jesus. Secondly, the instruction the scripture gives, ask God for things. Not for a new car or house, ask for those things which shall never perish. You shall receive and you shall be happy. While you are depressed say Lord, next time I’m in depression speak to me. Ask him. Be active. Walk with God that we may be like Enoch and transferred into the pearly gates. Strive to enter into the straight gate.

Amen.

Posted on March 6, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. What has helped me most in renewing my mind in the joy of Jesus is following Phil. 4:8: Whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure… lovely…of good report; if there be any virtue…praise, think on these things.
    The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10

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