Joy: Addressing Control

Pastor Bill West - January 17, 2020

“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” Some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
John 16:16–22

 

Joy is at the Heart of Christianity

They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy
John 16:18-20

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
Romans 14:17

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Luke 2:10 

 

Biblical Joy Is Unique

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
John 16:21

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Romans 5:2–4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2–4

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Acts 5:41

 

Joy is Centered on the Blesser not the Blessings

So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
John 16:22

(Let us) fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Bottom Line: Joy is Personal not Circumstantial

    1. What are some of the things that brought you great joy as a child?  What brings you great joy as an adult?
    2. Read and discuss John 16:16-20:  Why would the disciples grieve while the world rejoiced and then, why would the disciples’ grief be turned to joy?  Is there any relationship between grief and joy?
    3. Read John 16:21: For any moms, how does this verse relate to your experience?
    4. Read Romans 5:1-4, James 1:2-4, and Acts 5:41:  What is the relationship between suffering and joy from the average person’s perspective?  What is the Biblical perspective on the relationship between suffering and joy?  What have you learned from your personal experience?
    5. Read John 16:22: How would seeing Jesus restore their joy? How is Jesus the source of Joy? How do we get the blesser and the blessing mixed up?  What helps you keep them separated?
    6. Read Hebrews 12:2-3: What was the joy that Jesus focused on while suffering on the cross?  How does focusing on Jesus help us have real joy?
    7. Where are you experiencing joy in your life now?  Where are you struggling to find joy?
    8. Pray together