COVID-19 Update
Due to COVID-19 We are not meeting in our building , but we are meeting outside our building in a large tent so we can all worship together. This is plan for the whole fall season. The tent is heated. (No Registration Required) AND Online @ 10 AM .
October 15, 2020 8:32 PM


Christopher Parker
March 1, 2020

This is an audio message.

Joy encapsulates and is intertwined with the entire story of Jesus, from the womb (John leaping for joy when
Mary arrived – Lk 1:41), to His birth (“good news of great joy” – Lk 2:10), to His preaching (quoting joyful
promises from Isaiah 61 – Lk 4:17), even to His death (“for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross” – Heb
12:21). Oftentimes we feel pressured to create joy. But joy is a gift from God (Jn 15:11) which flows by remaining
in relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We can’t create it, but we can be conduits of it. Joy transcends
happiness and sadness. It’s bigger and better than any of those things. Children are great examples of joy and are
often full of joy even when they are sick. The Thessalonian church welcomed Paul’s message with joy in the midst
of suffering (1 Thess. 1:6). Jesus looked forward to the joy set before Him, giving Him strength to endure the
suffering of the cross. Happiness is circumstantial, it is based on the things going on around you, whereas joy
transcends in spite of circumstances. Joy is like an undercurrent that constantly flows through our lives and
manifests in different ways. It is a foundation of the kingdom of God (the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit – Rom 14:17).
There are two main blockers to joy. First, false positivity says everything is great and awesome and that there’s
nothing wrong. But in reality, there is true grief and lament. However, they don’t stop joy. It’s okay to experience
grief and loss. Jesus wept over the death of His friend Lazarus, even knowing He would soon raise him from the
dead, and He wept over Jerusalem. Allowing Himself to experience the grief and loss and suffering and to be real
and authentic allowed the joy to be released. Three antidotes to removing this blocker of joy are: Authenticity
must be stronger than avoidance; Realness must be stronger than pretending; Grieving must be stronger than
dismissal. The second common blocker to joy is the thought that is it morally irresponsible to have joy (how can I
have joy when others experience so much brokenness and suffering and pain?). However, there are things that are
genuinely joyful and that joy needs to be expressed. There is great joy over finding one lost sheep (soul) than the
ninety-nine. The father greeted the prodigal son with joy, but his brother was angry. Three antidotes to removing
this blocker are: Celebration must be stronger than cynicism; Rejoicing must be stronger than apathy;
Authenticity must be stronger than avoidance. To have the fullness of joy Jesus promised you, you must remove
the blockers. Rejoice together with those who rejoice, and mourn together with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15).
Sometimes it feels like you’re faking it if you express joy, but it’s really just the release of the underlying joy in
you. Let it out. Celebrate. Mourn. Be authentic.

Share the Good News!