Glad Tidings of Great Joy - Evangelist Allan Howard

We are not meant to walk around without joy as the body of Christ, but when we look at global affairs, it is going to take much more than dinners to keep us afloat. It will be the joy of the Lord that keeps us alive. If the world is hopeless, we cannot be. The joy of the Lord is our strength; it is one of the fruit of the Spirit. If we lose our joy, we lose our strength. For when we face tragedies and people who are against us, we must find ourselves strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, because His joy lives in us.

Psalm 97:1 states that the Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice. If we do not believe that He reigns, all things will bowl us over. However, we are buoyed up when we know that He reigns. If God did not encompass us about, our shelter would be lifted, we would have no hedge, front or rear guard and goodness and mercy would walk away from us if God did not encompass us about.

Psalm 93.1 states that the Lord reigns. Psalm 146: 10 states that “The Lord shall reign forever. Praise the Lord because our God reigns.” This is a declaration. Isaiah 9:6 states that “Unto us a Son is born…and of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end.” This is a reminder that He is large and in charge and that there is no plan, scheme, or authority that can remove His plan. He is King over all the earth. This means that He has authority, ruler-ship and dominion. Even though we live in a very real world, just like Job, we cannot be touched. God’s Word declares: “Rejoice in the Lord always!” Do not take on the schemes of the enemy. Remember this Christmas season that He sent Christ in the midst of tragedy.

Biblical joy is not just a feeling. Even when things are not going the way that we hope, we must choose to rejoice. When we worship and spend time with God, joy will come. How do we respond when faced with fear or when we stumble? How will we approach adversity? The answer is to rejoice! If we are in Christ, there should be a well-spring of joy coming from within us. We will hear God saying that

He will never leave us or forsake us. Psalm 16:11 states: “You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of life. . .” However, if we remove ourselves from God’s presence, we cannot experience that joy. Persons who do not know Him, must find their happiness in material things. To us who serve Him, we do not need those things to be contended. Wealth is good, but we do not need it to rejoice. Our joy is not dependent on the things that this world has to offer. It is based on God’s promises. If He said it, it will come to pass.

When we do not feel like rejoicing, it is time to choose to rejoice, even in the midst of trials and tragedy. There are a number of hindrances to joy. Sin is one such hindrance. When we harbour it, we will never find that place of true joy. For God is calling us but we are not responding. So we must rid ourselves of sin. In Psalm 51:12, David asks God to restore his situation after sinning with Bathsheba. Resist the devil and he will flee.

Not being anchored is another hindrance to joy. To find that place of stability, we must be anchored in Christ. Ephesians 3:17 speaks of being rooted and grounded in Christ. Doubt is yet another hindrance to joy. We all struggle with this, sometimes asking if God is really there. Hebrews 11:6 states though, that whoever comes to God must first believe that He is. Then we can make our requests known to God. If we fail to believe that He is, then we will not experience His joy or walk in the abundant life that He has promised.

We have a myriad of reasons to rejoice in the Lord. Indeed, we have been granted spiritual blessings. Thus, Ephesians1:3 tells us that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. The Word further states that we are accepted in the beloved and that our sins have been forgiven. God’s riches and grace abound to us and these are just some of the things that money cannot buy. In Psalm 103, David declared that money could not buy such blessings as love, compassion and health. Furthermore, Romans 8 states that all things work together for good for those that love God.

There is also song that says “Rejoice for the steps of a righteous man, they are ordered of God.” We should also rejoice in the Lord for Christian fellowship, for we can indeed encourage each other. Psalm 122:1 declares: “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘let us go into the house of the Lord.’” The Lord’s house may also be found when we go places, such as a business place for example, and find a brother or sister there. Then we can create an atmosphere of happiness and joy and allow God to move in our lives.

We can also rejoice in the Lord because He answers prayer. Proverbs 15:29 says that God hears the prayers of the righteous. We should never doubt that He hears us, for He still answers prayers. However, He not only answers prayers, but He also accelerates the answer. He is looking out for us. We therefore need to rejoice in the God of our salvation; for He is hearing us and He is alive.

CategoryTeaching Notes
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