Joy comes from looking at Jesus [Looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. *Hebrews 12:2]
Joy comes from desperately depending upon Jesus [For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon Her hip, and bounced upon Her knees. As one whom his Mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants, and He shall show His indignation against His enemies. *Isaiah 66:12-14]
Joy comes from God deciding that we should have His joy fulfilled in us [These things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. *John 17:13]
Joy grows and progresses because God appoints people who remain and continue with us [I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith. *Philippians 1:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:8]
Joy thrives via open-handedness and heavenly-mindedness [And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. *Luke 16:9]
Joy is discovered in dirty places (i.e. a local, and particular, community of sinners who regularly require forgiveness, mercy, compassion, patience, grace, and repentance) [For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. *1 Thessalonians 2:19-20]
Joy cannot occur without contracting childlikeness [Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” *Mark 10:15 …see also the example of Ebenezer Scrooge]
Joy cannot occur without regular repentance [Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. *Matthew 3:8]
Joy happens in habits of surrender: forsaking pragmatism and embracing mystery [By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. *Hebrews 11:17-19 …see also John 12:24]
Joy is inescapably connected to others [When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia. …We are comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. *2 Corinthians 2:12-13; 7:13]
Joy worships by the Spirit and puts no confidence in the flesh [For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. *Philippians 3:3]
Joy has an other-worldly diet [Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work. *John 4:34]
Joy’s best friend is invisible [Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. *1 Peter 1:8]
Benediction [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 15:13]