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TTWMN 146: Cultivating Joy

I love to people watch—but when I’m out and about these days, there seems to be something missing from most people’s faces:  smiles, contentment, and any trace of happiness.  Maybe we’re more “in a hurry” these days, or maybe people are weighed down with the increasing burden of surviving the world’s ever-growing preponderance of futility, lawlessness, and hopelessness.  In other words, sin, and its nagging prick of the conscience that quietly reminds one they are doomed.  Those saved by the blood of Christ should be different, look different and live different in these times—but sadly I know too many who are in just as dark a place as the rest of the world.  What is missing is the joy that should be so overwhelming it spills out of our every pore.  Here today to teach us how to cultivate that joy in our lives is teacher and author of the book Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.

 

Table Talk Notes

 

 

Cultivating is to improve the growth of something by labor & attention; to train & refine oneself as to an art form. In God’s Kingdom it is to allow the Holy Spirit to use our life’s experiences as an opportunity for maturing the fruit of the Spirit.

Joy can be defined as excitement or pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of good; gladness or delight. Interesting. In God’s Kingdom, it is the tangible & affable response to the presence of God in one’s life.

Joy is not the absence of suffering or disappointment; it is responding to the Presence of God in the midst of our suffering and disappointments. Life offers opportunities to cultivate joy.

How we respond to life’s events determines the joy we cultivate! Click To Tweet

How we respond to life’s events determines what we cultivate! God is always the solution, never the problem. We rejoice (give joy) because He is worthy (Phil 4:4). Cultivating joy is not an event, it’s a lifelong process.

 

Rejoicing in the Lord.

The best question to ask is always, “What are you trying to teach (cultivate in) me, Lord?” Our first priority is to trust God’s ways in the midst of the joy-less times in our lives. Yes, you can always rejoice!

 

The first lesson: It’s never about how I feel.

 

 

He rejoices over us because His joy is our strength.

Neh. 8:10 | Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

It’s part of our Kingdom covenant to receive joy! Remember Abraham’s Covenant w/God. All that was promised to Abraham was also for his Seed (Christ), ergo for us. God becomes a Father to His people. Father God gives Himself to us – ALL that He has and ALL that He is.

 

The Lord is full of joy.

 

1 Chron 16:27 | Splendor & majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His place

Neh 8:10 | The joy (that God expresses toward us) is our strength

Ps 45:7 | God has anointed You (Christ) with the oil of joy above Your fellows

Lk 10:21 | Jesus was filled by the Holy Spirit with (rapturous) joy following the return of the 72:  20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

 

 

The Lord is our source of joy.

 

Gen 21:6 | God has made laughter for me

Ps 16:11 | In Your presence is fullness of joy

 

Jn 17:13 | so that they may have MY joy made full in themselves

 

Gal 5:22 | the fruit of the spirit is…joy

 

 

Joy is the norm of Godly living.

 

Deut 28:47 | serve the Lord your God with joy…for the abundance of all things

Ps 100:2 | Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him w/joyful singing

Rom 14:17 | for the kingdom of God is righteousness/peace/joy in the Holy Spirit

1 Thess 5:16 & 18 | rejoice always…in (not for) everything give thanks.

 

 

The Kingdom of God is at hand! The time could never be more urgent. Jesus will NEVER leave or forsake you. We are joint heirs w/Jesus! Nothing that comes into our lives is “uncommon” to man – BUT remember we are in relationship w/an uncommon God. We are ordinary people in relationship with an extraordinary God!

 

The Challenge

For what are you known among unbelievers? How do those who love you see you? Are you stumpin’, frumpin’ and grumpin’? Or are you joy-filled?

 

The Encouragement

Eph 3:20-21 > “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his powers that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever, Amen!”