Are You Sure? Week 2
Are You Sure? Week 2
You Have Joy?
Review: “Are you sure you have received the right Jesus?”
1 John 1:3-4 (NLT) We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
This week: Are you sure you have the right joy?
Merriam-Webster definition: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
Biblical joy is not circumstantial
John 15:11 (NIV) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
● Joy in the midst of hard things is not easy.
James 1:2 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
● Cancer, financial issues, job loss, broken relationships – how are they an opportunity for joy?
Biblical joy has right expectations
We have to ask ourselves, are we placing the right expectations on who Jesus actually is or who we want Him to be for us?
Question 1: Are you discouraged or frustrated because you can’t control things and people around you?
Truth: Jesus saves us by grace through faith. He is not a works based God who demands perfection.
● Control is a joy thief.
● How might your joy increase if you gave up trying to control your life and significant relationships?
Question 2: Are you discouraged because you keep falling into the same sin?
Truth: Jesus is loving and just. However, He does not take sin lightly nor does He give cheap grace.
● Sin is a joy thief when we hang on to it.
Question 3: Are you discouraged because your life isn’t very easy? Have you truly embraced Luke 9:23-24?
Truth: Jesus didn’t come to make our lives easy. Instead, He tells us our lives are not our own. We belong to God.
● Difficulties in life can be a joy thief if we let them.
As we spend more time abiding in His Word, more time in relationship with Jesus and His people, we will start having the right expectations.
Our joy grows as we change our perspective
The temporal wars against eternal perspective.
● The joy of the world is temporary and largely unfulfilling. It doesn’t fill us with what we need the most, which is a love relationship with our Lord.
Romans 14:17 (NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
● The joy of the Lord is different from the joy of the world. Our joy comes from God when we are near Him.
Psalm 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
What if you’re not feeling joy even though you are near to God?
● We can’t make ourselves feel the emotion of joy. But we can choose a perspective that allows the Holy Spirit to grow the fruit of joy in our life.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
● When we fix our eyes on Jesus, His joy gives us an inner peace.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Live it out:
For Small Group Discussion:
Read/Tell the Story: 1 John 1:4-10; James 1:2-4
1. What is something that was really difficult at one time but led to real joy?
2. What does it mean to have complete joy?
3. What’s the difference between happiness and joy?
4. How do you typically pursue happiness?
5. When trials come, what is usually your first response? As you grow closer with Christ, how would you like to respond?
6. Is there a story or person from scripture that demonstrated joy during a trial? Who/what?
7. How does your perspective change when you set your mind on the eternal?
8. How is that different from focusing on the circumstances?
9. How can you encourage someone else who needs it right now?