THE WAITING: COMPLETE JOY
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Joy – The inner attitude of rejoicing in one’s salvation regardless of outward circumstances
Luke 2:8-11 (CSB) In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
This familiar passage heralds the arrival of the greatest gift of God to mankind, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. And while this declaration of the birth of Jesus is significant in so many ways, it is also significant in its statement of the joy that arrived at the same time Jesus was born.
1. The presence of Christ is the beginning of joy
Luke 2:10-11 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
- Joy – NKJV – 188 times in 178 verses
- Psalms – 36 times in 35 verses all pointing to the joy found in God
- In the Old Testament, it appears 120 times in 113 verses and usually it appears expressed in connection with the feasts; in fact, they are called “times of rejoicing” (Num 10:10) and recall God’s marvelous act of delivering Israel from bondage, the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread were occasions of great joy.
2. Following Christ brings complete joy
John 15:9-11 (CSB) As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
- The source of joy is not what can be found in the world, it is only in Christ
- The “joy” of this world brings only emptiness and disappointment
- The joy of Christ is complete
3. Abiding in Christ multiplies joy
Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
- This is a clear call to living in the power and control of the Holy Spirit
John 14:15-17 If you love me, you will keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.
Job 33:26 (NKJV) He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness.
4. Standing strong in trials is the benefit of joy
James 1:2-4 (CSB) Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
- The presence of trials does not mean the lack of joy
- Joy is key to coming through the trials in victory
- Remaining in His joy in the midst of life’s most challenging times will develop you into the person God intends for you to be and, at our very core, we long to be in our Christian walk.
 Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 447.
 Clinton E. Arnold, “Joy,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1022.