Pastor Gaby Salloum encouraged the congregation with a deliberation about the Joy of the Lord. He pointed out that happiness is not the same as joy. Happiness depends on outward circumstances. As the world is getting worse, there is less happiness. We would not be able to stand it without the joy of the Lord and without agape love, both of which work from the inside out. As for the agape love, Pastor Gaby encouraged parents to show love to their children, else, when they leave their home, they would look for love in the wrong places. Any other love than agape love cannot sustain them.
Since happiness depends on outward circumstances, it can also not sustain a person. Only what comes from the Lord can sustain. Both joy and love come from the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). They are unchanging because God changes not, and they are ours to have (Psalms 100:1-2, 16:11; Proverbs 10:28; Isaiah 12:3; Romans 14:17).
Jesus was able to endure the cross because of the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). When we focus on our joy in the Lord we are able to go through trials, because joy is our strength, and we’ll be hopeful (Nehemiah 8:10b; John 15:11, 17:13; 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, James 1:2; Philippians 4:4; Colossians 1:24).
In Psalms 104:15, wine represents joy. At the wedding (John 2:1-11), there was no wine/joy. Jesus changed the water into wine. This is a picture of what Jesus does – He brings us joy.
If we want to open the well of joy, we need to:
1. Have gratitude (Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
2. Be giving (2 Corinthians 9:7)
3. Be obedient – because when we grieve the Holy Spirit we cannot experience joy.
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