Some Great Truths About the Christian’s Joy
21 Jan, 2001 AM PLACE: BBC Blarney
Introduction (Pr 17:22)
Heart. What a rare treasure in this modern world of ours!
been doing a lot of studying these days on two big subjects, and I was surprised
at some of the discoveries. One strange thing I had not expected was that the
Bible has almost as many references to Joy as it does to Anger
know what JOY means? It means the ability to Shout! Having sufficient reason to
no way can someone just decide to be joyful. Something makes us joyful, and
Solomon, in the Book of Ecclesiastes sets out to find out what is it that makes
people not just happy, but full of joy!
matter of fact, the Bible doesn’t just talk about the concept of joy and
gladness, but God uses the phrase, “Everlasting Joy” (Isa 35:10; 51:11).
Now, THAT is something worth having (like an Everlasting Gobstopper)!
Background (Eccl 2:1-23)
has “arrived.” He is now king of Israel, and boy is everything going right.
So what is he to do? Well, God has given Solomon great wisdom.
according to Eccl 2:1 he sets out to prove some things – to test some theories
that he has about life, and love, and happiness
sample some of his findings, because they remain the definitive answer about our
out to find out what is good for all of us to experience
Starts with three things (2:3)
Wine – not the alcoholic kind, but the natural kind at first
Wisdom – dedicated to learning
Folly – recklessness, silliness, acting funny
Knowing from the start that something was not quite right (2:2)
Then moves on to massive building projects – an empire (2:4-6)
The largest Temple – 240 feet high, covered in pure gold and marble
Massive mansions, and pools all around Jerusalem (remember, this is a
desert city folks)
Gardens (in a desert city)
Forests all around!
This required some incredible irrigation, and planning
Then to acquiring servants, and employees
Keeping them happy, and profitable
And Large farms – again, in a desert
He heavily invested his money, and accumulated massive returns on his
He collected all the great music albums, and stereo equipment
He concludes, “So I was great…” (2:9a) What a statement. True
He had not stopped at anything he attempted
He had not withheld anything that he thought might give him joy
And he actually found some joy in the midst of it all (2:10)
But when he looked at all his accomplishments, and all his labours, he
realised 99% of it was like the wind, and was empty and vain, and wasted.
Whew! Look at his attitude next (2:11-23) this is a very depressing
All he had done was in vain – wouldn’t last (2:11)
He began to hate life (2:17) – it didn’t seem to have purpose anymore
– there was nothing he could do that would remain, or satisfy
He looked at all his accomplishments and hated them (2:18,19) because
they would all just be “handed over” to the next guy, and who knew if he
would even care!
He next “despaired” (2:20) – he was starting to give up on life
itself, and question what good is life (2:23)?
Remember, these are the words of the wises man who has ever lived
But the Lord showed him something, and reminded him of a realisation that
he had had back in verse 10, at the very beginning of his “search for
Message – Finding Joy (Ecclesiastes
Joy is found first IN your Labours (2:24), not just after our labours
Most of us know that accomplishing something brings great satisfaction
But if we have no satisfaction to carry us through until the thing is
accomplished, we quickly become miserable
What every person needs is some joy now AS they live – why?
Because life itself sometimes has no joy
Because some things never get finished
So what is a Christian’s attitude supposed to be?
No joy allowed until the world is won to Christ?
No joy allowed until we have our own church building?
No happiness tolerated until everyone is married with children?
No pleasure until heaven?
The great principle is verse 24 is
Get busy – get a job – sweat, and work hard – laziness has no
Soul-winning – enjoying soul-winning, even though no one gets saved,
because you are serving the King!
Working – even if you don’t get a raise (Lk 3:14)
Reading your Bible – even if it is dry sometimes, because you are
storing up truth that will be activated later on!
Stop and smell the flowers along the way
Jesus is the Lily of the Valley, not just the mountain top
Jesus is the morning star, while it is yet very dark at night
Most of us never look up at the sky at night, or at the sunset, or at our
children as they play
We need to step back and ponder just how good GOD is!
We all have one of two choices (Pr 15:15)
To look at the quality of the days in which we live – evil
Or, to have a merry heart AS we pass through those evil days
We actually have a third choice – to affect the evil around us by our
joy (Pr 15:13)
Joy is a Gift from God (2:24,25;
You see, there is something going on in the heart of a Christian that
enables them to rejoice, even when they are losing things
The world tries so hard at maintaining an attitude of joy and happiness
Nightly at the Pubs – pub-crawling – discos
Drugs, smoking, filthy videos and music
And then you have Christians
Some of which, who KNOW what they posses (or rather Who possesses them)
And some of which who are willingly ignorant of God’s presence in their
I’ll give you ONE guess as to which one is happy (1Pet 1:8)!
The believer who has Jesus Christ, has all the reasons needed to rejoice
for all eternity
The Believer who ignores his relationship with Jesus is going to “hate
And the unsaved person who does not know Jesus is going to seek ways of
ending their life
That’s why salvation is SO IMPORTANT – without it, you not only can
never know joy, but for all eternity, you will never know life itself
And that’s why developing your walk with God is vital Christian
And don’t try and kid me man
Everyone can tell whether a person is walking with God or not
Joy is only experienced by those who live Right (2:26)
Notice the two different people in verse 26
The man that is good – lives right, and does right - Christian
The sinner – the person who lives in sin, and away from God,
disobedient to God’s word
God gives joy to the one who is willing to fulfil the requirements
EX: a man wanting to drive a car – must fulfil requirements of passing
EX: man wanting to marry a woman – must fulfil her requirements – be
dependable and faithful and hardworking
God gives JOY to those who live right and do right (Cf Pr 16:7)
If you are living for yourself, you are never going to experience joy
So what are the requirements for joy?
The new birth – relationship with God (the Eunuch in Acts 8)
The perceptive heart (1Kg 19:12) that hears the voice of God, and sees
the hand of God – go slower folks
A consistent walk with God (2Cor 12:7-10) finding God’s grace is ALL
Solomon sought everywhere for joy, as well do.
But God showed him that joy is found IN all the labours of life
Because Joy is supplied by God throughout our life as we walk with Him
And joy is only evident to those who walk CLOSE to Him, in purity, and
holiness, and right living.
Starts with salvation – the new birth
After that, everlasting joy is available to everyone, for the taking, and
enjoying, no matter how vain, and vexing life may be, Jesus makes its worth the
living! Doesn’t anyone believe this anymore? I do!