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'Christ in You...'

    by Dale Krebbs

Where Is The Joy?
Date Posted: May 22, 2022

"I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing." - John 15:11, AmplifiedBible

A minister friend told me about an experience he had while preaching a sermon. He did not tell me the sermon subject.. However, the subject apparently did not fit with what occurred in the process of delivering the sermon. Suddenly, he was stopped in midair, as it were, and paused. Then he was almost compelled to say, "WHERE is the JOY of our salvation!..." If I recall correctly, he said he could not help but repeat the question several times.

The discussion which followed centered on trying to answer that question, applied to ourselves - the joy and the lack of joy of our salvation. WHY, in the main, is there so little real JOY in the lives of God’s children? Part of the calling of the ministry is to encourage, and to be a facilitator of JOY! We lamented our many failures (2 Corinthians 1:24). Lack of real joy seems to be one the great deficiencies in Christian living today.

Yes, "where IS our joy?" Where is my joy, where is your joy?...

It it surprising the amount of emphasis in God’s word concerning JOY, and especially joy in connection with salvation! I will not attempt to cover it all in this short article. The primary meaning of "joy" as it is generally used in connection with salvation either directly or indirectly, comes from a root word meaning to "rejoice, be glad". This joy comes from DEEP within a person, as opposed to being happy, carefree, etc. It is such a deep experience, that it must come from a source that transcends circumstance, surroundings, and other outside influences. It is spiritual, coming through the spirit in us, but driven and motivated by the Spirit of God - the Holy Spirit. Personal internal conditions of heart and mind either hinder or accentuate the manifestation of this JOY! There is a GLOW about someone with this joy! It is obvious that it is not pretence. It shines outward in utter sincerity and a sacrificial openness, gentleness, and willingness to risk. It can be seen in their eyes! It is not reasonable - it is SPIRITUAL. To the extent that our spirit is in harmony with the Holy Spirit, we can experience and manifest this real joy. Godly, spiritual joy has many imitators and clones, but few mentors. Satan is very adept at creating imitations, diluting truth, and giving false signals, leading us onto dead ends, etc. There is much pretense of joy, and counterfeiting, especially that which is embodied in the general term "fun", which is often a misnomer for real joy. Godly JOY is a fruit of the Holy Spirit! (Galatians 5:22-23)

Spiritual joy comes from a deep realization and CERTAINTY of OUR SALVATION! True joy turns on this fact. How can there be real joy if there is no CERTAIN hope - IF WE NEVER KNOW QUIET WHERE WE STAND with God!. This, I believe, is one of the causes for so little "joy of our salvation"...the lack of the certainty of our salvation, which stems from the natural insecurities of our fleshly natures. This is a downside of strict LEGALISM and free-spirit LIBERALISM, which for a long time have been part of Christian culture. They tend to weaken Godly, Christ-given joy. Many have erred, having misunderstood the purpose of the law, in seeing in the law a way to control others for their own purposes. Rather than taking the responsibility to assist in changing hearts, the law is used as a club to force compliance to the law. Actually there is preoccupation with compliance with the rules. This makes their job much easier, they feel, since others are their own worst enemy, they are being protected from themselves. As this works out, the joy that Jesus said He would leave with us - His joy - cannot penetrate the barriers.

Then there is the self-deception of Christian liberalism All is well because everyone is smiling, happy, cooperative. When taken to the extreme, Christian freedom translates as license. But generally, this operates subconsciously, as a kind of a "it was all settled long ago" mindset. So we have another, but different, "form of religion" . The two opposite extremes: ultra-liberalism and ultra-legalism - these are barriers to genuine, real, Christian JOY! In Christian liberalism, there is an obligatory kind of joy. It is a "joy" that supposedly is there because it is SUPPOSED to there, so it is often pretended to be there. But often, it is not there. This can promote hypocrisy and a patronizing environment. Relationships become generally shallow, although ostensibly there is friendliness. Things are "arms length" in reality, although seemingly cooperative in function. That which is required may get accomplished, but beneath it can be a facade. There is little or no genuine spiritual Joy. It has an outward appearance of Christian "freedom", but often only an appearance. Everything is very "free wheeling". A shell, a form, shows, but REAL Christ-given JOY does not. In this setting what IS real and what IS NOT sometimes is very difficult to distinguish. It is almost impossible within a short period of time. However, it does - and it will - in time (1 Timothy 5:24).

At the other end of the spectrum is Christian legalism. Joy is restrained and smothered under the weight of strict legalism, where people are afraid to move - to express joy, or to appear real or animated. Everything is covered over with propriety and form. If there is real joy, it is effectively held down and repressed, and expression is considered inappropriate at best, and sinful at the worst. If there is real Godly joy, it is deep, deep inside, and must experienced ONLY privately, if not secretly. Manifestations of emotion in general is discouraged, regardless of the occasion or setting. A strictness, and a reluctance to forgive without some type of "just" retribution is enforced to the letter. The principle the Apostle Paul taught concerning elective personal judgments are not addressed, and therefore not allowed (Romans 14). The effect has been that Christian FREEDOM, LOVE and JOY are snuffed out, sometimes leaving some in bitterness and discouragement, rather than increasing in joy. FORM and PROPRIETY is everything (1 Timothy 3:5). All must be "by the letter" (2 Corinthians 3:6-7).

These two opposite extremes: liberalism and legalism - are two very real roadblocks to Christian JOY! (1 Timothy 5:25). And more than this - these extremes represent two of the major "Christian" heresies in the modern world today, just as in the early years of the church...(Colossians 2:21; Jude 1:3-4). There is another "form of religion" emerging, but that must wait for another time.

We need to come to really KNOW Jesus Christ intimately, and ask Him to REMOVE THE BARRIERS of our pasts, our minds and our hearts, and our sins, so that His joy may be fulfilled in us! This He cannot do, if there is sin that is not repented of. REAL REPENTANCE - not superficial or glib acknowledgement, but genuine repentance He will accept. Then He will fill us with a JOY that does not depend upon our circumstances, our past experiences, or the world around us, or where we may be on the scale of perfection. It will not even depend on others. Sin cuts us off from real JOY! One of His greatest desires is to GIVE us HIS JOY (Romans 15:13). Even in the human arena, in order to share in someone’s joy, we need to know intimately acquainted with them, and have a right relationship with them. It is, even in a practical sense, close to impossible to REALLY share someone’s joy unless we REALLY know them! We may add to the expression "to know Him is to love Him", another expression: to know Him, is to know His JOY! "Know the Lord" has become a cliche’, and cliches have a way of becoming trite, and diminished with time from their original force. To "know the Lord" is a great deal more profound and lacking than the popularity of the words would suggest. But we must KNOW Him to receive His JOY! REPENTANCE always precedes knowing God. Then our JOY will come forth and BE RESTORED...(Psalm 51:10-13)!

Throughout the entire New Testament, after Jesus has come, one of the greatest themes is that the arrival of the Lamb of God, our Savior, has brought JOY TO THE WORLD! Even while in the womb of his mother, John the Baptist leaped for JOY at the prospect of Jesus coming into the world (Luke 1:41-44)! The "world" does not comprehend this yet. However, in God’s time, IT WILL! This is God’s plan. It WILL BE DONE! The lyric "joy to the world" will become reality...a JOYFUL reality! The very essence of a Christian’s REWARD is JOY! (Matthew 25:21,23). Our JOY, even now, can be like a wellspring, and a continuous fountain from deep within our very being (John 7:38). It is your PERSONAL gift from Jesus Christ, if you belong to Him (Proverbs 14:10). Your joy will be a light and example to others, but it is a personal gift to each believer in Jesus. It will be OF the Holy Spirit manifesting the joy of Christ, the gift of His JOY to you. The Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit - ONE JOYFUL GOD, and us in His presence with joy - forever!

I pray that we may ALL stand before Jesus, filled with HIS supreme "JOY OF OUR SALVATION"...Amen! (Jude 1:24-25))

"And now I am coming to You [the Father]; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts]."- John 17:13 AmplifiedBible

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Biography Information:
Dale Krebbs served as an Elder, preaching, counseling, and conducting Bible studies for over 25 years in Texas, California, and Arizona. He is now retired, lives in Arizona, and continues the study and research of Gods Word.
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