Powers Of Joy

There is enough trouble in this world that often taints any fleeting happiness some might have at times. However, things are completely different, in fact, supernaturally different, when one truly belongs to Christ.
Powers Of Joy
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

The atmosphere was somewhat dismal after the “last supper.” Jesus Messiah had already made it clear to His disciples that He would soon meet physical death. He also said He would arise again, ascend, and send them another Comforter. However, the disciples were unable at that moment to understand those promises.

Christ, the Son, purposely took the time to pray to the Father before leaving for Gethsemane. His prayer is recorded in John 17. It is a loving, intercessory prayer for His disciples, which includes His disciples of today. In verse 13 He prays, “And now I come to You;

and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” In that sentence we find these three powers of joy: its foundation, force, and fulfillment.

I. It’s Foundation

“And now I come to You; . . . “ That short and simple phrase is packed with power. Christ, though physically living before others as a mere human, was more than a mere human. In the Gospel of John itself we see evidence of not only of His humanity, but overwhelming evidence of His deity {1} . Philippians 2:5-11 explains that though He was very God, His mission in the flesh was to do what Adam failed to do. 

So, as we read the Holy Scriptures they indicate that Christ lived a victorious life (Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 1:19). Never once did He step outside the will of the Father. He did all He did so that His works would dwell inside us (Hebrews 2:10). This includes how He responded to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and a lot more. 
Then came the cross where He would bear our sins, bringing the wrath of the Father that we deserved upon Him (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24). We must keep that in mind when asking forgiveness of our sins, no matter how “small” they might seem to us. The forgiveness from God comes at a very heavy price on His part.

Romans 6:1-14 points out how Christ’s burial and resurrection is connected with the true Christian’s life. Essentially our old sinful life and our sins are buried with Him. By trusting in Christ through faith spiritually we are raised to a new life in Him and, barring the rapture of the Church, physical resurrection will occur sometime after our physical death

Therefore within the words, “and now I come to You,” is the meaning of the truth that when Christ ascended, He went to the Father with all He had done, which included His victorious life, His work upon the cross, the burial of our old life and sins, and His resurrection. Because of this, those in Christ have no spiritual lack because all those things are within them. That is why it is written in Colossians 2:10, “And you are complete in him, Who is the head of all principality and power.”

II. It’s Force

“ . . . and these things I speak in the world, . . . “

As we read the Gospels we see that the teachings of Christ are against the ways of the world and, on at least two levels. The first level would be where Christ comes against sin not just on the surface, as in the case of the Samaritan woman who was having relations outside of marriage, but right to the core, into the thoughts and hearts of people. It is not enough not to commit adultery or murder, but we are to keep sexually lustful thoughts out and keep a guard on our anger so we are not angry without cause, do not keep a record of wrongs, and more.

Participating in any level of sin stymies the development of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, joy being the second fruit. Darkness cannot dwell with light. One who names the Name of Christ might be happy in some carnal activities, but happiness is not godly joy.

The other level is where people are caught up with everyday living. Most people know that Christ taught His hearers during the “Sermon on the Mount" not to worry about food, clothing, and other earthly needs. This type of life is termed “bios" in the Greek. Mostly, it is not evil in itself. However, at times it is contrasted with “zoe," another word translated as “life.” Looking at its somewhat deep definition {2} I could summarize part of it by saying it is a higher form of living than “bios." For this message I would like to bring out that it can mean, “life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.”

Focusing upon everyday living can rob us of our joy. Again, we might be happy, but godly joy is very often absent. Instead, Christ called us to focus upon the things of God. Surely if I did not personally know God through Christ I know that, given all that is going on in the world today, I would be horribly depressed and very fearful. But when we personally know God through Christ we can, by His grace, focus upon Him and His


kingdom.

This brings us to the point where it needs to be said that godly joy, the second fruit of the Holy Spirit, is supernatural. For example, many times when a true Christian meets with some type of horrible disaster, while they may show and admit what they are going through is not pleasant, one can tell there is joy that they possess. This is why there will be times you or I will see Christians who are rejoicing in God despite the fact they have lost their home, or job, or loved one, or anything else.

The force of godly joy goes against sin, everyday life, and our natural state of being. A classic example is found in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” As you see, against all negative reaction to persecution the true Christian is to “rejoice and be exceeding glad.”

Permitting His joy in our lives gives us the strength to face whatever we need to face. Most times our problems will not disappear, but what does appear within us is the God given ability to withstand any pressure we face.

III. It’s Fulfillment

“ . . . that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Going against the negativity of the human flesh is unnatural. However, we have already seen that God given joy is supernatural. It begins with a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When we permit Christ to dwell within as our King, the old nature dies and the new life of Christ lives.

This takes us to Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” As one grows in Christ we learn step by step to say “no” to ourselves and “yes” to His new life within.

Remember, when He said, “And now I am coming to You,” He was going to the Father with all that was accomplished in His physical life on earth. By Him dwelling within us, given our cooperation, we are enabled to have joy no matter what we face.

Part of His victorious life was being led not by the world, not by His own will, but led by the Holy Spirit. Though we might be led to and through some things that are not pleasant, we can still have that supernatural joy that only God can give.

We, indeed, can be filled with godly joy. It is maintained by spending time with God through Christ. It is written in Psalm 16:11b, “in your presence is fulness of joy.” This blessing is available to anyone who comes to Christ and makes a true dedication to Him.

Notes:

{1} Please see these two articles about deity of Christ:

http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/eight-passages-plainly-show-deity-christ

http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/deity-christ-proved-attributes-god

 

{2} StrongFrom an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by December 13, 2015 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M383 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for lead picture after date of publication. Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 21-07-2016 90 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    We see in the world more contradictions and tensions than peaceful progress: in fact this earth is not our permanent residence.
    reply 0
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