1. Hello, listening friends. We are delighted you tuned in to listen to us today.
2. We have been going through a series of messages on the fruit of the Spirit.
3. In our last broadcast, we talked about joy;
4. and, in this broadcast, we are going to continue to talk about joy.
5. It is the second in that series of messages on joy.
6. In our last broadcast, we ended with these words by the Apostle Paul:
7. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say again: Rejoice!”
8. We told you that we would talk about what Paul is really saying in this passage.
9. What is he saying?
10. He is saying that your real joy does not come from favorable economic conditions.
11. Your real joy does not come from your being accepted by society.
12. Your real joy does not come from having significance in the eyes of the world.
13. Your real joy does not come from what your job is,
14. or where you live,
15. or what image you project.
16. Your real joy does not come from being in the right social circles,
17. or living in the right neighborhood.
18. Your real joy comes from the knowledge that you are saved and redeemed through the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
19. Your real joy comes from the knowledge that you are an heir with Christ.
20. Your real joy comes from the knowledge that your name is written in His Book of Life,
21. and that you are an inheritor of the estate of God.
22. That is what he’s saying where joy comes from.
23. Our world is trying to tell us that joy is found in things.
24. Our world is trying to tell us that joy is found in owning more buildings.
25. Our world is trying to tell us that our happiness comes from drinking alcohol,
26. or watching more television.
27. What kind of happiness is this?
28. That is how confused the world is.
29. Things will not make you happy.
30. Please listen carefully.
31. Christian joy is not the absence of sadness.
32. I can testify to you that sometimes in the lowest moments of my life, I experience the joy of the Lord in a far greater way than any other time.
33. Christian joy is not the absence of adversity or trials in life.
34. When Paul was writing about joy to the Philippians, he was not on the beach enjoying the sunshine, but he was in a prison.
35. He was writing about joy when he was in chains and in a dungeon.
36. Joy is precisely the very element that helps me to see beyond my circumstances.
37. Joy is precisely the very element that lifts my eyes up to God;
38. the God Who is above and beyond and greater than my circumstances.
39. In fact, joy is like love, which we’ve looked at before.
40. It can only be manifested and exhibited precisely at the tough times of life.
41. Joy, like love, can only shine in the darkest moment of testing and trial.
42. Joy, like love, can be observed in times of stress and strains.
43. As we saw in the last message on love, the deepest joy comes from grace --
44. the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ -- grace, amazing grace, marvelous grace.
45. Knowing that, by myself, I deserve nothing but the judgment of God;
46. and, yet, God, through His grace and favor, He loved me and redeemed me.
47. He put me on the footpath to Heaven, and, then, he has put me in the hollow of His hands;
48. and that gives me all the joy that I need.
49. Listen to what Paul said about grace,
50. in Romans, Chapter 8, verses 38 and 39:
罗马书第8章38 和39 节那里，他说，
51. “Nothing is going to separate me from the grace and the love of God, nothing.”
52. Whether I am employed or unemployed, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
53. Whether I am rich or poor, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
54. Whether I am accepted by others, or rejected by them, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
55. Whether I am spoken well of, or ill of, by others, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
56. Whether I am criticized or praised, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
57. Whether I am affirmed or ignored, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
58. Whether I stand alone, or stand with thousands of others, nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
59. It will make no difference to my joy, because nothing shall separate me from the love of God.
60. Listen to me, my listening friends.
61. I have been reflecting upon this for a long time,
62. because I can look at things happening around the world, and I can see things; and, when I see sin is rampant, I can easily get discouraged;
63. but I don’t,
64. because I have the joy of the Lord;
65. but I have been thinking about this for quite some time now, and not just this week, but for quite some time,
66. and I came to this conclusion:
67. do you know what really eludes most people about the joy of the Lord?
68. They feel they don’t have a handle on the future.
69. Believe it or not, that holds true among all people,
70. Christians or non-Christians,
71. believers or non-believers.
72. What eludes most people from getting that lasting joy is that they cannot get control of the future.
73. The reason the psychics and the fortune-tellers are growing in great numbers around the world
74. is because people want to have a grasp of their future.
75. They really do.
76. The reason millions of people are going to fortunetellers and channelers who contact the dead is because they want to be sure about their future.
77. Some people may say, “Well, those fortunetellers tell me things about myself that are really true.”
78. The devil knows what’s going on.
79. These people are literally following demons.
80. They want to get a grasp of the future.
81. They ask the cup-readers to tell them how to live.
82. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you need only to know one thing about the future.
83. When you die, you will go straight to Heaven.
84. The Scripture says that absence from the body is presence with the Lord.
85. You don’t have to ask anybody else about that.
86. Listen to what the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:6, and 8.
87. People want to understand the future.
88. When I thought this, I said, “Wait a minute...
89. but I already know the future.
90. I know Who holds the future,
91. and the One Who holds the future, holds me and everything else in His hand;
92. and He told me that everything is all right.
93. He has it all under control and He is taking care of it;
94. and, when I close my eyes in death, I’m going to be in His presence in Heaven.”
95. There is nothing else I want to know.
96. That is the secret of the joy of the Lord,
97. the permanent joy;
98. and that is why I have the joy of the Lord.
99. Today, people are running breathlessly trying to catch it;
100. but happiness is like a bar of wet soap.
101. Everytime you try to take hold of it, it jumps ahead of you;
102. but not joy.
103. Why do you pursue happiness, which is temporary, when you can have joy, which is permanent?
104. Some believers have lost their joy, and, then, confuse it with happiness.
105. Some of you may have lost your joy and you are trying to find it in all the wrong places.
106. Let me tell you a story that will help you focus on where and how you get your joy restored.
107. Years ago, a little boy was given a priceless possession — his father’s gold pocket watch.
108. Oh, how he treasured it!
109. He held it close in his hand.
110. He would take it out, and he would look at it, and, then, he would return it tenderly in his pocket.
111. How he loved that watch;
112. but, one day, while playing in his father’s ice manufacturing plant,
113. he lost the watch in the middle of the ice.
114. In the midst of the sawdust, he cried and cried.
115. He searched and searched and he searched, until he became so frantic and panicky, and, finally, he had a thought.
116. His hands were getting much too cold.
117. He finally stopped scurrying and thought.
118. He stopped searching around, and he became very still.
119. In the silence, he heard the watch ticking,
120. and he found it.
121. The joy of the Lord is one of the greatest gifts of salvation.
122. The joy of the Lord is one of the great fruit of the Spirit-filled life;
123. but, in the midst of the scurrying around, we lose it;
124. and the more we become frantic about getting joy, and the trappings of joy, the worse we become.
125. We start scurrying faster and start looking for happiness instead, and we start getting frazzled looking for it.
126. The more we scurry, the more we get frantic, and the more it gets away from us.
127. Take a moment and be silent before God.
128. Take time to daily worship the Lord.
129. You don’t have to ask God for anything.
130. Just be there alone listening.
131. Take time to daily be filled with the Spirit of God.
132. You won’t have to look for joy.
133. The joy of the Lord is going to find you.
134. With this joy comes another fruit of the Spirit — peace.
135. We shall begin looking at what peace really means in the next broadcast.
136. Some of you might be listening for the first time.
137. Some of you may never have invited the Lord Jesus to come into your life.
138. You have been looking for joy and fulfillment in life, and you can’t find it.
139. Today, you can come to God and ask for His forgiveness.
140. Today, you can say, “Lord Jesus, You died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sin.
141. I receive You into my life.
142. Accept me in Your Kingdom.”
143. If you have prayed this prayer, you can be sure that God has already answered your prayer.
144. Write and tell us that you have become a follower of Jesus Christ.
145. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.