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Rediscovering Your Joy In Life!
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”
2. Unresolved conflict.
Hebrews 12:14-15 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
3. Unconfessed sin.
Psalm 32:1-5 “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ -- and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
2. Think of God’s attributes in worship.
Psalm 66:1-4 “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.’”
3. Reaffirm your commitment to others.
4. Reignite your passion for evangelism.
Philemon 6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”
5. Unleash your problems to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 7:4 “…in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
James 1:2 challenges us to “consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
6. Walk close to Jesus.
John 15:10-11 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
What to do with Stress
vs 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
THE PROBLEM OF STRESS (Isaiah 40:28-29)
vs28 The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Stress may be defined as that gap between the demands placed upon us and our ability to meet those demands.
THE PROVISION OF SUFFICIENCY (Isaiah 40:31)
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
There are three distinct promises when we wait upon the Lord:
1. The ability to fly in the difficult/stressful times of life.
Deuteronomy 32:11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its wings,
We sometimes think God is cruel when He is actually kind.
2. The ability to run in the rush of life.
“There’s enough time in every day to do everything God wants you to do.”
3. The ability to walk in the routine of life.
“To walk and not faint” is day by day faithfulness in the little things.
The PROMISE OF STRENGTH (Isaiah 40:31)
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
A The Hebrew word for “renew” means “to change or exchange.”
i The Christian life is not only a changed life, but it is also an exchanged life.
ii We give Him our weakness, and He gives us His strength.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
What does it mean to wait upon the Lord?
i We must desire Him….Long for Him
1 Psalm 62:1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
2 It is no good to want relief without wanting God.
ii We must listen to Him.
1 Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
2 Can God get our attention?
iii We must look to Him.
1 Psalm 104:27 These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
2 Do we truly believe that God can meet our needs?
iv We must live for Him.
1 Proverbs 27:18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards/waits his master will be honored.
2 To wait upon the Lord means that we’re here to serve Him.
Someone has a bitterness issue!
Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." So how can we do that? How can we prevent bitterness from moving into our hearts? How can we deal with our feelings instead of letting them grow into bitterness?
14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15
The seed of bitterness is a hurt.
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-11
II. THE DEVASTATION OF BITTERNESS
15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
A. The root of bitterness is underground and easy to hide.
Characteristics of a bitter person:
1. Very sensitive
2. Has little or no gratitude
3. Will harshly criticize or vainly fatter
4. Holds grudges
5. Mood swings
The fruit of bitterness
It will affect you physically.
It will affect you emotionally.
Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
It will affect you spiritually.
Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Bitterness has a chain reaction.
Ephesians 4:26, Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
30-31 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
e. Evil speaking
III. THE ERADICATION OF BITTERNESS
Let God reveal it
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Let grace remove it.
Let love/good replace it.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Matt. 13:1-9; 18-23
FREE YOUR HEART?
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
There Is A Lesson In Devotion
There Is A Lesson In Discipline
There Is A Lesson In Discouragement
The Rocky Soil
1. A Changed Life - 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:7, 13
2. Righteousness - Heb. 12:11; James 3:18
3. The Fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22-23
4. Praise unto the Lord - Heb. 13:15; Rom. 8:15
5. Reproduction - The law "after his own kind" introduced in Genesis 1:11-12.