Joy (June 3, 2011)

How to Cultivate Joy: Weeding

  1. Repent, repent, repent: Repentance is the key to joy (Psalm 32, 51)
  2. Cast down useless idols: refuse to worship things that won’t make you truly happy.
    1. Romans 6: 11-13 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”
    2. “The solution to your sin problem is not to take all desire away. The solution to your sin problem is begging the Holy Spirit to redirect your desires from trinkets and silly things and aim them in the only satisfying direction: Jesus Christ.” -Piper
    3. Illustration: Things (break, get stolen, get old); Money (our economy has taught us that money can be easy come, easy go); fame (fleeting and vicious, like sharks in the water while you’re bleeding; you can be a rock star for fifteen minutes until you say something someone doesn’t like and then they will slash you to pieces and smile while they watch you bleed. Pastoral ministry is the same way. People who tell you you’re great hear something they don’t like and they shred your life and feel better about themselves for doing it. The reminder there is the same people who shouted hosanna at Jesus shouted crucify him by the end of the week. We follow a guy who got murdered by church people. Expect that to happen, not joy from being famous).

How to Cultivate Joy: Watering

  1. Look to the Bible as kindling for the fires of biblical joy: Psalm 16:11; 37:4; John 15: 1-11*
  2. Come to church: 2 Corinthians 1:24
  3. Take a nap: Sabbath rest recharges the batteries of biblical joy
  4. Use everything to fuel your joy in God:
    1. Good things:
      1. Children: Children are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord. With every giggle of your child the creator is joyfully exulting over you with the sounds of his fearful and wonderful creative design. The differences in your children come as little reminders that the creativity of God is better than anything we would ever come up with.
      2. Cardinal games: You can worship at a Cardinal game. Now, you could worship the wrong thing, but you could worship God at a Cardinal game. Human talent, the beauty of creation, it’s fun, your family is there with you, the hot dogs are unparalleled goodness…
    2. Bad things:
      1. Suffering: All that happened to Job happened by God’s choosing, appointing and purpose. God exalted himself in it. John 11 and Lazarus, who died for the glory of God that he might be raised in exaltation of Jesus.
      2. Bad news: The created order is falling apart! The king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord and he will do as he pleases. The nations are a drop in the bucket, as dust on the scales to God, but we sometimes still tremble. Romans 8 17ff; Cutting your grass (The grass withers and the flower fails, but the word of our God endures forever!)

Remember: God is working in all these ways to produce in your life a satisfaction in himself. Cultivate joy in your heart this weekend.

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