John 16:33 (NKJV) “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.” -Kay Warren, Choose Joy
Proverbs 17:22 (NRSV) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (TEV) Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.
Proverbs 15:15 (NIV) The cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Acts 14:17 (NCV) “He proved he is real by showing kindness, by giving you rain from heaven and crops at the right times, by giving you food and filling your hearts with joy.”
Acts 20:35 (HCSB) “Keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 118:24 (CSB) “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Philippians 4:4 (CSB) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Nehemiah 8:10 (CSB) “The joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Romans 15:13 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 139:17 (NLT) “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”
Psalm 33:18 (NRSV) “Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV) “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV) “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV) “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Using Google or a thesaurus, quickly come up with a list of 10 synonyms for joy. What are some of your memories of experiencing the feelings these synonyms describe in past Christmases?
Who comes to mind when you think of someone who is truly joyful? What can you learn from them about living with good cheer?
Before you came to know the Lord, where/how did you look for joy? How/when did this begin to change for you?
What have you found that helps you to cultivate a cheerful heart?
Read Philippians 4:4. Do you think rejoicing is more about our minds, emotions, or simply our will? What other scriptures or Biblical examples might be used to support your answer?
As you review the practical points from this message about building joy daily – which is the easiest and which the most challenging of these for you in your life at this season?
After hearing this message, what’s obvious to you about your own “joy quotient” and what you should do about it? How can your group pray for or help you with this?
Elementary parents, your kids learned about JOY today. We said joy is a sense of gladness because of who God is. We learned that we can have joy because God uses us for his plans. Ask your kids who was a big part of God’s plan in our story today. (Mary) What was her role? (She was to become the mother of Jesus, our Savior) Mary was an ordinary girl used by God to accomplish something extraordinary. He wants to do the same through us!
A born teacher, Steve combines a depth of insight with unchanging biblical truths to provide messages that are both engaging & life changing. Married to Jean, his bride of 35 years, and the father of three adult children, Steve enjoys early mornings on his porch in study, time with family & friends at the coast, and playing Bluegrass music on his guitar.