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New Hope Christian Fellowship

God's Lasting Joy For You

GOD’S LASTING JOY FOR YOU

INTRODUCTION

            Joy is something that I believe everyone longs to possess.  When I think of the absence of joy, as the world understands it, I think of physical pain, broken relationships, and the loss of a valuable possession.  In today’s economic situation, such joy doesn’t seem to be prospering or sustaining the lives of those who believed they could not lose it.  However, God’s Word, the Bible, gives us a different understanding of joy.  According to the Bible, there is a joy that can be experienced through knowing God that can never be matched by the world.  King David, the writer of Psalm 32, gives some reason to be joyful (Read Psalm 32:1-2, 10-11).  When we consider the forgiveness of our sins we have in Christ and that joy grows out of striving to live righteously before God, we should always be full of joy!  How can we develop a stronger determination to be joyful in the circumstances of life in which we live?

BACKGROUND

            Last week’s scripture revealed that God has provided a way for us to rejoice in His joy.  Verses 22-24 of John 16 identify the disciples would soon receive a joy that could not be taken away from them.  The way for the disciple’s joy to be made complete would be though asking God the Father for their needs in the name of Jesus.

            Considering His final moments with His friends, Jesus provided them with three very important aspects of their faith that would enable them to continually experience the joy they were about to receive.  Let’s look at our text for today, verses 25-33.

SCRIPTURE:           John 16:25-33

PRAYER

CTS:   3 truths concerning the joy God gives you.

The lasting joy that God gives you comes from:

I.          GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU                                                                           (VV. 25-27b)

Explanation

            Verse 25 gives some indication as to the future relationship the disciples would have with God the Father after the coming of the Holy Spirit (VV. 13-15).  First of all, they would have a better understanding of what Jesus was teaching them.  Jesus tells them that the hour was coming when He would be speaking to them plainly.  Considering the fact that Jesus had just been teaching them about a vine and branches, as well as a pregnant woman, the disciples would soon have a much clearer understanding of the “figurative” language.  No longer would His disciples need to ask Jesus about things, because of the new communication the disciples would have with God the Father.  Why would all of these things change for the disciples?

            Jesus tells them that this new way of relating to God was because of His love for them (27a).  The reason that God the Father loved the disciples, and, therefore, would personally communicate with them, was because of their love for Jesus (27b).  Thus, in order for the disciples to have direct communication with God, their Father in heaven, and to experience His personal love, they needed to love Jesus, which meant obeying the commandments of Jesus (15:9-11).  This text further affirms that the only way a person can be loved by God is through loving His Son (14:6; Acts 4:12).  It is important for us to pay attention to the use of the word “love” in this text.

            The word “love” in this verse is identified by the Greek word “phileo,” which indicates a warm and intimate relationship.  It is different from the word used for “Love” in John 3:16 (agapao).  Agape love is more of a perfect or divine love, a love that man cannot provide toward God.  However, God, in this context, is demonstrating a brotherly love.  Thus, such a loving relationship can only exist between a believer in Christ and God.  It is through Christ that this type of a relationship is established and maintained.

Illustration

            The love of a mother – There is something to be said about the love of a mother.  Whenever our children were babies, I used to, at times, be jealous of my wife.  Whenever our children were in drastic need of something, it seems like they always ran to her.  I learned to accept that there is a special love that Teresa and our children enjoyed that I would have a hard time trying to develop with them.  After all, she was the one who took special interest in getting them up in the morning, feeding them, bathing them, teaching and playing with them throughout the day, and then putting them to bed at night.  All of this took place while I was often off working.  Teresa would have a wonderful time caring for other children through child care services, but none of them could experience the same degree of love as her children.

            With Jesus soon ascending to be with His Father in heaven, the disciples would begin to experience a loving relationship with their Father in heaven.  This would be a loving relationship that would transcend the love of a mother.

Application

            The point of application for every believer in Christ is rejoice in knowing that God loves you intimately, and that His love for you is based upon your choosing to love Jesus.  Such a fact enables the believer to have joy, knowing that the maker of the universe is close and intimate, genuinely caring for those who are His.

            If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you cannot experience the love of God in this way.  God’s love is poured out in your heart the moment you choose to love Christ.  Your choice includes confessing your sinful state before God, asking for Him to save you from the destruction you face (John 3:18-20), and then asking Him to change your life to reflect His glory.

            Jesus did not stop with acknowledging the love of the disciples for Him.  Jesus also highlighted the belief they had placed in Him.  This leads us to our next point.  The lasting joy God gives you comes from God’s love for you and your faith in Christ.  Look with me at 27c.

II.        YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST                                                                                    (VV. 27c-30)

Explanation

            It wasn’t that the disciples had placed their faith and trust in the words of Jesus as a person.  They believed that Jesus had come from the Father in heaven (27c).  Thinking about where a person was before they were born takes great faith.  Yet, Jesus, knowing the hearts and minds of the disciples, acknowledged their belief in Him.

            Jesus next provides a concise statement of the mission His Father had given them.  He confessed to them that he had came from the father, came into the world, was now leaving the world, and returning to the Father (28).  Jesus appeared to be reiterating that His mission was just about finished.  It almost appears that the disciples are growing in their faith at this point, based upon their next statement.

            Verses 29 and 30 relate a strong statement of faith from the disciples.  They claim that they now know that Jesus came from God and that they clearly understand His mission.  On the surface, it looked like they were pretty confident in their faith.

Illustration

            Warren Wiersbe – provides an insightful thought about the statement made by the disciples:

They not only affirmed their understanding, but they also affirmed their faith and assurance. “Now we are sure... by this we believe.” It was quite a statement of faith, and I believe the Lord accepted it. In His prayer recorded in the next chapter, Jesus told the Father about His disciples and reported on their spiritual condition (John 17:6–8). Certainly He knew their weaknesses, but He was quick to approve their growing evidences of faith and assurance.

But it is possible to have faith, understanding, and assurance and still fail the Lord. Unless we practice that faith, apply that understanding, and rest on that assurance, we will fail when the time of testing comes. That is what happened to the disciples, and Jesus warned them that it would happen. 

            This is also indicative for many believers today.  Believers emphasize their faith in Christ and a willingness to fight for His cause.  Yet, when difficulty comes, they falter.  How are we to deal with such failure?  What does God think of our actions?

Application

            The point of application for the believer in Christ is to place our trust and confidence in the faith we have in Christ.  If you have placed your faith in Christ, choose to see your present difficulty as temporal, knowing that our joy cannot be taken away from us.

            If a person has chosen to love Christ, that person can be confident that he or she is loved and cared for by God.  Faith in Christ gives the believer a clearer understanding of God’s love and the reason to be joyful about life.  However, if the believer looks for hope in this world and what it has to offer, the joy of the Lord can be quenched.  There is only one place for the believer to look for hope, which leads us to our next point.  The lasting joy that God gives you comes from your hope in Christ.  Look with me at verse 31.

III.       YOUR HOPE IN CHRIST                                                                            (VV.31-33)

Explanation

            From a teaching standpoint, Jesus digs deeper into the hearts of His friends with the question “Do you now believe? (31).”  In spite of their professed faith, the disciples would leave Jesus in His greatest moment of need for companionship.  Jesus identifies that they would soon be scattered to their homes and leave Him alone (32a).  So much for their faith in Him.  However, Jesus did not focus on the fact that they would desert their Friend, their Savior.  In spite of their desertion, Jesus would have His Father with Him during the most difficult moments of His earthly life (32b).  The one aspect of joy that Jesus could dwell upon is that His Father was with Him in His darkest hour.

            This is encouraging word for believers in Christ.  If the believer has not followed through on his or her commitment to follow Christ due to various reasons, the believer can confess the sin, and ask God to be move the believer in the direction of repentance.  Jesus serves as a powerful example for the believer in Christ, when it comes to working through difficulty.  Although life may become extremely difficult, leaving the believer thinking that no one cares, rest assured, God has not left the believer in abandonment.  Just as God was with Christ up until Christ took the sin of the world upon Himself on the cross (establishing God’s permanent residence within the believer), God will always be the reason the believer should have joy.  God will never leave or forsake the believer.  Additionally, His intimate love and care will see the believer through all circumstances.

Illustration

            Verse 33 provides the ultimate reason for the believer to have hope and be joyful.  Warren Wiersbe says it well:

John 16:33 is the summary and climax of the Upper Room message. Why did He give this message? So that the disciples might have peace in a world of tribulation. Note the contrast between “in Me” and “in the world.” In Christ there is peace; in the world there is tribulation. This is the position we need to claim: we are in Christ, and therefore we can overcome the world and all of its hatred.

George Morrison defined peace as “the possession of adequate resources.” In Jesus Christ, we have all the resources that we need. But peace depends also on appropriate relationships, because spiritual resources depend on spiritual relationships. “In Me” is the key. In ourselves, we have nothing; but “in Christ” we have all that we need.

Every believer is either overcome or an overcomer. “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). The world wants to overcome us; this is why Satan uses the world to persecute and pressure believers. The world wants us to conform; it does not want us to be different. When we yield ourselves to Christ and trust Him, He enables us to be overcomers. We must claim our spiritual position in Christ and believe Him for victory.[1] 

           

 

Application

            The point of application for the believer in Christ is to remember what Christ went through for you at Calvary.  You and I can never fully comprehend what He went through to pay for our sins.  Additionally, consider the example of Jesus.  He knew His disciples would abandon Him at the worst physical moment of His life, yet He was at peace about it because He knew that His Father was with Him.  Let us remember that when it appears that all is lost and that no one really cares about our situation, our Savior is with us, seeing us through the darkest moments of life.  He is our hope!

            For the person who doesn’t know Christ, there is no hope.  When everyone has abandoned you in your difficulties of life, you are left all alone.  Do you desire God’s love, a love that will never fail you?  Put your faith in Christ, for it is He alone that can provide you hope in all areas of your life, both now and for eternity.  Confess your sins today, asking Jesus to be your Savior!  A great life of intimacy with the Creator of the universe awaits you!

Conclusion:

            As we have seen in our text today, Christ’s final words reflect key aspects of living with lasting joy.  The disciples chose to love Christ through obedience.  The result was a continual intimate relationship with God the Father.  They also had voiced their faith as best as they knew how to Jesus, yet, according to Jesus, they would leave Him in His darkest hours.  Ultimately, their joy would be complete, because Jesus would overcome the world!

            The bottom line for you and me today is that there is lasting joy that you and I can experience.  The way to experience is in choosing to love and believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  The result is to experience an intimate relationship with God the Father.  Such a relationship gives you and me hope for both today and all our tomorrows.  As we choose to interact with God through this relationship, our joy will be made complete.  Let’s choose to walk in intimacy with God through Christ today!!

           

 

 

 


 

REFERENCES (page 1)

Psalm 32:1-2, 10-11

 1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
         Whose sin is covered.
 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
         And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
         But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
         And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

 

Zechariah 13:7

    7 “ Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
      Against the Man who is My Companion,”
      Says the LORD of hosts.
      “ Strike the Shepherd,
      And the sheep will be scattered;
      Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.

Warren Wiersbe – provides an insightful thought about the statement made by the disciples:

They not only affirmed their understanding, but they also affirmed their faith and assurance. “Now we are sure... by this we believe.” It was quite a statement of faith, and I believe the Lord accepted it. In His prayer recorded in the next chapter, Jesus told the Father about His disciples and reported on their spiritual condition (John 17:6–8). Certainly He knew their weaknesses, but He was quick to approve their growing evidences of faith and assurance.

But it is possible to have faith, understanding, and assurance and still fail the Lord. Unless we practice that faith, apply that understanding, and rest on that assurance, we will fail when the time of testing comes. That is what happened to the disciples, and Jesus warned them that it would happen.

 

 

Warren Wiersbe says it well:  “John 16:33 is the summary and climax of the Upper Room message. Why did He give this message? So that the disciples might have peace in a world of tribulation. Note the contrast between “in Me” and “in the world.” In Christ there is peace; in the world there is tribulation. This is the position we need to claim: we are in Christ, and therefore we can overcome the world and all of its hatred.

George Morrison defined peace as “the possession of adequate resources.” In Jesus Christ, we have all the resources that we need. But peace depends also on appropriate relationships, because spiritual resources depend on spiritual relationships. “In Me” is the key. In ourselves, we have nothing; but “in Christ” we have all that we need.

Every believer is either overcome or an overcomer. “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). The world wants to overcome us; this is why Satan uses the world to persecute and pressure believers. The world wants us to conform; it does not want us to be different. When we yield ourselves to Christ and trust Him, He enables us to be overcomers. We must claim our spiritual position in Christ and believe Him for victory”

INTRODUCTION:  KING DAVID’S PERSPECTIVE ON JOY

BACKGROUND THOUGHT:  JESUS’ FINAL MOMENTS; BE ENCOURAGED

SCRIPTURE: JOHN 16:25-33

TITLE OF MESSAGE:  GOD’S LASTING JOY FOR YOU

CTS:   3 TRUTHS CONCERNING THE JOY GOD HAS GIVEN YOU.

THE JOY GOD GIVES TO YOU COMES FROM:

I.       GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU                                                    (VV. 25-27b)

  • EXPLANATION:           CLARITY IN SPEECH (HS PRESENCE)
    • YOUR LOVE FOR CHRIST = GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU (27a&b)
    • GOD’S LOVE –  “PHILEO” - WARM, INTIMATE
  • ILLUSTRATION:          LOVE OF A MOTHER
  • APPLICATION:                        REJOICING IN GOD’S LOVE = JOY (14:23)

 

II.      YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST                                                 (VV. 27c-30)

  • EXPLANATION:           BELIEVING IN CHRIST FUELED THEIR FAITH
    • THEIR FAITH APPEARED TO BE CONFIDENT (29-30)
  • ILLUSTRATION:          WARREN WIERSBE QUOTE
  • APPLICATION:                        BE CONFIDENT OF YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST

 

III.    YOUR HOPE IN CHRIST                                                    (VV. 31-33)         

  • EXPLANATION:           DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE? (31)
    • DENIAL; ABANDONMENT (ZECH 13:7); CHRIST ALONE? (32)
    • THOUGH ALONE, GOD WOULD BE WITH JESUS (32b)
  • ILLUSTRATION:          WARREN WIERSBE ON VS 33
  • APPLICATION:                        THOUGH ABANDONED, GOD IS WITH YOU

 

CONCLUSION: 

  • JESUS’ CHALLENGE –    GOD’S LOVE, THEIR FAITH & HOPE = JOY
  • OUR CHALLENGE –         REJOICE IN GOD’S LOVE AND CARE FOR YOU



[1] Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. Jn 16:23

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