Good morning, Five Minute Families. Thank you for joining us this morning. We are Jim and Kim Nestle with Clear View Retreat. We have the honor and privilege of hosting family camps, marriage retreats, grief retreats, and more out here at our cabins in the woods of East Tennessee. It is a joy to do what we do. And, sometimes, it is exhausting, hot, trying, demanding, strenuous, lengthy, and downright difficult. And, still, it truly is a joy to do what we do.
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Now, a discussion about the biblical difference between happiness and joy might be coming after this series, but for now, we will stick specifically with discussing how a five-minute family can enhance the joy of their home.
As an attribute of the Holy Spirit, joy is more than just an emotional response to a situation. Just as peace and goodness are not to be simply responses to our circumstances, neither is joy. Joy is a choice we make, no matter what is going on.
So, five-minute families, to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate joy in our homes, we need to…
First, accept the difficulties along with the good times. James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” He does not say to walk around and always feel joyful. He specifically says to “count it” as joy. The ‘it’ being life’s circumstances. We must intentionally pause, recognize the frustration or trial, but then choose to see what God may be doing in the midst of this difficult time.
Second, we must seek His direction in decisions. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” When we stop simply plowing ahead without thought to consequences or outcomes and instead rely on the Lord for his direction, we can be more joyful because we know we are following Him.
Third, as a family, ask God to satisfy your family’s physical, financial, and other needs… in His will, of course. John says in chapter 16, verse 24, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” When we trust our needs and desires to God, our joy will overflow as we see the greatness of His answers – even the ‘no’ answers.
Fourth, express your joy around others. It can be hard when those around you are down, and we not encouraging you to be fake or to appear joyful for the purpose of altering another family member’s behavior, but just as Proverbs 17:22 states, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” your expression of joy – even if it needs to be subtle for moment – can make a fundamental difference in someone else’s life.
And, fifth, remember that eternity holds joy. John 16:22 reminds us, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” This sinful, fallen world sometimes falls on us. It is ok to acknowledge that and, especially in the tough moments, remember that we have an eternity of God’s great goodness to look forward to and rejoice in. My joy comes in the morning.
Joy can be a tricky attribute if we think of it as having to walk around with a smile on our face all the time. Kinda like the “do all things without murmuring or complaining” verse, folks think that sharing their difficulties somehow makes them a complainer. That is not true. Yes, we can certainly make sharing some of our struggles a big, ol’ complaint fest, but it doesn’t have to be. In the same way, the joy of the Lord is no less joy when we admit that things aren’t going so well and we are having a tough time. We can still be joyful in the life we live, in the opportunities for sharing about God and His goodness and His joy in midst of all the good, bad, and ugly stuff we experience.
We are so glad when you join us. Please send us a message on our facebook page, or through email at email@example.com to let us know what you would like to discuss after we wrap up our Fruit of the Spirit devotional series next week.