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Three Joy Builders

Introduction:
1... If we lose our focus of our salvation and what we are saved from, we lose our joy.
2... If we allow circumstance and situation to over ride our focus of salvation, we lose our joy.
3... If your joy is dependent upon anyone except God, you will lose your joy.
Difference between Joy and Happiness:
1... A dictionary definition of happiness is a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying
experience. The definition of the word rejoice, from which our word joy comes, is to feel
great delight, to welcome or to be glad. Depending on the translation, the Bible uses the words
happy and happiness about 30 times, while joy and rejoice appear over 300 times.
2... The word "happy" comes from the Hebrew root word ashar and means "to set right or be
blessed. Happiness tends to be fleeting and depends upon temporal factors like circumstances or
other people.
3... Joy, on the other hand, is true contentment that comes from internal factors like our faith in
the Lord. True joy is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances.
4... The book of Philippians is a great study in the difference between joy and happiness. Written
by the Apostle Paul while imprisoned in Rome, this book uses the words joy, rejoice, and
joyful 16 times and teaches us how to have true contentment in Jesus Christ, despite our
circumstances.
5... In (Philippians 1:12-24), Paul says that because of his two-year imprisonment (Acts 28:30),
the whole Roman guard heard the gospel from him, and it had even spread throughout all of
Rome. In verse 18 Paul says, What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in
truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice. Paul goes on to
encourage others to have peace knowing that God strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) and
supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
6... In the short book of Philippians only four chapters long Paul uses the word joy 16
times. The amazing thing is, Paul didnt write this book when he was on vacation in the
Caribbean. He was in prison in Rome, waiting to be executed. In the darkest days of his life, he
wrote the most positive book in the Bible.
7... So the Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of
ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which
is itself an everlasting source of joy.
8... The joy of the Lord may be inexplicable to the one who does not possess it. But, for the
believer in Christ, the joy of the Lord comes as naturally as grapes on a vine. As we abide in
Christ, the True Vine, we the branches are full of His strength and vitality, and the fruit we
produce, including joy, is His doing (John 15:5).
Texts:
Neh 8:10
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.

KJV
1... Nehemiah told the repentant Israelites in (Nehemiah 8:10). that the joy of the Lord would be
their strength
2... You have a fundamental need for joy in your life. Life without joy is overwhelming,
overburdened, and oppressive. Studies have actually shown that the more joy we have in our
lives, the more productive we are. I read an article in "US News and World Report" that said that
corporations hire "joy consultants" to build up the joy in peoples lives so that employees can be
more productive. It is true that you have more energy, more creativity, and more productivity
when you have joy in your life.
Joy Builders:
In Philippians, Paul gives us several joy-builders that will help diffuse our discouragement and
lift our depression. (Today, well look at the first three).
Abandon all regrets about your past.
1... (Philippians 3:13) says, One thing I do is to forget what is behind me and do my best to
reach what is ahead
Paul says if you want to enjoy life, there are some things youve got to get rid of because they
are wearing you down and overburdening your life. The Bible says to forget your regrets,
because that's what God does he chooses to forgive your mistakes once they're confessed. The
starting point of joy is letting go of the past.
Abandon (Omit) all worries about your future:
1... Pauls antidote is found in (Philippians 4:6): Dont worry about anything; instead, pray
about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done You can either
worry or you can pray.
If youre going to enjoy the present, you must omit all worries about your future. Worry, handsdown, is the greatest killjoy of them all. You cannot be joyful and worried at the same time.
Yield yourself to God's purpose:
Even when Paul had literally lost everything, there was one thing that could not be taken away
from him his purpose in life. Paul says in Philippians 1:21, For to me, to live is Christ and to
die is gain
If youre just drifting, if you dont know where you came from or where youre going or why
youre here, of course youre not going to have any joy in your life. We all need a cause greater
than ourselves for which we live. That is what brings us joy. Living for yourself does not bring
joy.
If you want to have a joy-filled life, you need to get in line with Gods purpose for your life.
When you begin to live the purpose for which you are made, life makes sense, and joy is a lot
more easily found.