There are a lot of angry, frustrated, and downright depressed people out there these days—not much common courtesy, kindness or compassion on display.  Maybe it’s just politics, or maybe people are weighed down with the increasing burden of surviving the world’s ever-growing preponderance of futility, lawlessness, and hopelessness (or maybe both).  But wait a minute…for those who claim to be Christians, this world is NOT our real “home”. We’re supposed to remember that our real life is with Christ in heaven, where we are to keep our eyes focused, and we’re only passing thru here, hoping to bring people with us.  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

 

Email on joy from a friend…

 

Cultivating….

 

  • Webster: to improve the growth of something by labor & attention; to train & refine oneself as to an art form
  • Kingdom: to allow the Holy Spirit to use our life’s experiences as an opportunity for maturing the fruit of the Spirit

 

 

Joy…

 

  • Webster: Excitement/pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of good; gladness or delight
  • Kingdom: 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

 

How we respond to life’s events determines what we cultivate. God is always the solution, never the problem. Cultivating joy is not an event, it’s a lifelong process.

  • 1990 –Wooden spoons/ frozen peas
  • 1995 – Sitting on a stump
  • David “…do not take your Holy Spirit from me.”

 

 

Rejoicing in the Lord

 

The best question to ask is always, “What are you trying to teach (cultivate in) me, Lord?”

 

The first lesson  – It’s never about how I feel

We rejoice (give joy) because He is worthy (Phil 4:4)

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!

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 Queen should have asked Solomon for the “right” thing

2 Chron 9:2-4, 12 | And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her… 12 And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

 

Something vs. Someone

 

 

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 Thes 5:16 &18– rejoice always…in (not for) everything give thanks

 

 

The Kingdom of God is at hand!

 

  • I 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. Click To Tweet

 

 

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!”