God With Us: Joy

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Joy

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. (Luke 1:13–15; ESV)

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3–5; ESV)

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. (Luke 1:6; ESV)

Joy OVERCOMES shame. 

25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” (Luke 1:25; ESV)

. . . leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit . . . (Luke 1:41; ESV)

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:42–45; ESV)

58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. (Luke 1:58; ESV)

Detail #1: Our God is the SOURCE of Joy. 

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8–9; ESV)

22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (John 16:22; ESV)

. . . the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10; ESV)

Detail #2: Our Joy OVERRULES Our Circumstances. 

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4; ESV)

 “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10; ESV)

Detail #3: Joy Is a CHOICE. 

“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed . . . (Luke 1:46–48; ESV) 

Joy OVERRIDES shame. 

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer . . . 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:4; ESV) 

Vision: Engaging the world with God’s love as equipped and empowered followers of Christ. 

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. (Psalm 5:11; ESV)