What is the difference between being happy and being joyful? Sometimes we think that having joy is being overly optimistic, but that’s not what the Bible has to say about joy. Join us as Pastor Tyler Hart gives a powerful message on Joy and how it can change your life.
Well, welcome everyone to Central. So glad you guys are here. We love you. And I'm honored to be with you today. My name is Tyler. I'm the young adults pastor for Central. And just so you know, we've been building during this season and we're launching officially in the fall with our ministry. So we're so excited about that.
[00:00:17] Excited what God's going to do. Now you can clap for that. Absolutely. Thank you. Appreciate that. So just continue to keep us in prayer and. It's going to be incredible. It can be amazing. Also wanted to let everyone know we're in total camp season right now. Okay. We're in the summer. And just this last week, my son, my first born was actually old enough to go to kids camp.
[00:00:37] I was like, how is this possible? He's three years old. And he had a blast. It was so much fun. They did a carnival at the end. I was like, this is seriously the best. He learned about Jesus. It was so good. And then obviously we've got high school camp coming up to actually start tonight. And then they got junior high camp, they got preteen camp.
[00:00:54] It's going to be such an incredible summer. We say here a central summer changes everything. So I just think we should be praying for them during this season. And also, can we just honor all of the volunteers, a servant ministers that invest their time and their effort? Yes. We love you. We love you all campuses, all campuses.
[00:01:12] We love you. And. If you could deal with my three-year-old like seriously glory to God. You are blessed. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So I'm gonna start us off by reading some scripture. This is Galatians 5 22 and 23. This is the foundation of our summer series. It says this, but the fruit of the spirit is love,
[00:01:29] joy, peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. Now, just a friendly reminder for each and every one of us. If you actually go into Google and start typing in fruit of the spirit, the top suggestion is fruit of the loom. Okay. Just saying that underwear apparently is a higher priority in our society than scripture.
[00:01:54] So I'm really glad we're diving into this series. And last week, Pastor Cal did a phenomenal job giving us the foundation of this series, talking with the heart of the credentialed life, talking about the fact that if you have no fruit, you have no credentials, no credibility. And I don't want to be fake.
[00:02:09] I want to be a true, real, authentic follower of Jesus Christ. I will be able to notice that by the fruit of my life from the holy spirit, so we can make an impact. On this world, I believe each and every one of us, we want to do the same thing. So we're going to be an order. And the second one is joy. So we're gonna be talking about joy today.
[00:02:27] Would you pray with me? God you're good. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your love. God. Speak to us like only you can do encourage us today. Inspire us. Challenge us. We love you. Jesus. You're so good. You're worthy of all the praise that everyone said in Jesus name.
[00:02:45] Amen. Amen. All right. I will never forget about a year ago, Pastor Cal had a leadership lesson moment with the entire staff. Okay. And this was in the midst of COVID. And all the craziness and navigating the unknown. And so we were all there on zoom. Okay. This is a year or so ago. And all these boxes on the screen and Pastor Cal says, all right, guys, I'm going to, I'm going to kind of navigate us through this thing.
[00:03:13] I'm going to give you some advice. I'm gonna give you some encouragement and I'm gonna give you a quote. I'm gonna give you a quote from a POW a prisoner of war. And I'm like, well, this got heavy, quick for 9:00 AM. I'm like, Hey, he stopped barking. This is serious. So I lead in, I got my notes ready and he, and he told us.
[00:03:29] That there was this survivor and he said the first ones to go in the prisoner of war during this crazy time for them. Were the optimists. And I said, oh, I literally, it was like, Pastor Cal, you looking at me through the screen, like into my soul right now because I consider myself quite the optimist. Like, I'm like the happy go
[00:03:47] lucky. Like there's always a silver lining. The glass is always half full. Like that's me. I'm that guy. Apparently full of joy or maybe not according to what Pastor Cal was talking about. But he was saying, no, no. What really happened was these optimists, these ultra optimistic people. It wasn't the fact that they were just so happy.
[00:04:10] It was the fact that they could never take inventory of the real situation. They didn't even question that as a reality, they just said, everything's fine. It's going to be all good. No worries. And they were the first to go. They were the first to go and I believe with us, we try to get through life with joy.
[00:04:33] We try to put on our best joy and we try to make it happen. But what I really believe that's happening is we put on this kind of self-made joy to cover everything instead of a deeply rooted sense of joy that lasts the long haul. I have three truths forced today, three phrases, if you will, three things to cling to today.
[00:04:55] So we can bear the fruit of joy in our lives. The joy that Jesus desires for each and every one of us. Firstly, it's the word of God. Second, the relationship with God. And thirdly, it's the perspective given by God. So first we'll start with. The Word. And if you have your Bibles with you, I'd encourage you to take those out on your phone, whatever you need to do.
[00:05:24] We'll also have it for you, but. I'm going to be a Nehemiah eight Nehemiah eight. We're going to read verses 10 through 12th. But before I jump into scripted, before I start reading, because I'm going to read a very popular passage of scripture when it comes to joy. I mean, this, this phrase is so nice. It looks good on a t-shirt on a coffee mug.
[00:05:45] I'm sure hobby lobby has it painted on some woods somewhere. You know, if you're going for that farmhouse style with words, and it's a good thing. But if I would just were to read it, you'd be encouraged. It would kind of be nice, but there's so much more richness and depth and value to where this really comes from.
[00:06:01] And I have a friend, his name's Jordan. He's actually on staff here at Central and he's our creative director, huge context guy, like loves context, like whatever it is, I'm like, Hey man, I'm going to let, Hey, man, I need more context. I'm just going to lunch, man. Like, he's just that guy. So if you're big in the context, this is for you.
[00:06:20] Here you go. We're going to start reading in Nehemiah, but I'm going to give you the context beforehand. So to set the scene for Nehemiah this passage, we have to include Ezra as though he was a Torah scholar, a priest, a scribe, and a teacher. Basically, he really knew his Bible and he wanted to bring a spiritual renewal to the Israelites.
[00:06:40] Now Ezra, the book comes right before Nehemiah and Nehemiah and Ezra, they worked very closely with one another. Nehemiah was a government official from Persia and he was leading the charge to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which were promised as the promised land for the Israelites. Okay. So now. So as her is there and he's, well-respected by everyone.
[00:07:01] He brings everyone together and he stands with this giant wood platform. Okay. The whole town's there. And he asks for the law of Moses. So he asked for the book, the Bible, and he starts reading it for like four to six hours, super long sermon. I promise you, we will not go that long today. He's reading this and he's reading this.
[00:07:21] And at first, a lot of people they're hearing this for the very first time it's being interpreted to them for the very first time. And the majority of them, they're sad. They're dejected. Not just because the survey was too long, they they're sad because they're hearing something that is so convicting.
[00:07:38] They don't feel like they measure up. They don't feel like they're good enough. They don't feel like they could ever be worthy of this love from God. And so they're sad. And then incomes, Nehemiah, the ultimate hype man. He's there with all the people and you need a high man after a sermon that long. And he goes around to, everybody, starts telling them what to really do on this day and the importance of what's taking place.
[00:08:00] So Nehemiah eight verse 10. And Nehemiah continued, go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad for the joy the Lord is your strength. That's the popular one.
[00:08:20] And the Levi's too quieted. The people telling them hush don't weep for this a sacred day. So the people went away to eat and drink a festival meal and share gifts of food and celebrate with great joy because they had heard God's words and under stood them. They had heard the word of God for the very first time and they under stood them.
[00:08:45] This is amazing. This is beautiful. See everyone there was just so sad when they were hearing this because they didn't think they were good enough. But Nehemiah says, no, no, you don't understand that. The joy that I'm trying to give you, it's not your joy. The joy of the Lord is your strength. What you're hearing right now is cause for celebration.
[00:09:05] I mean, you need to be excited about this. You need to have joy about this because it's not from you. The fact that you're hearing this is a great thing. So often we speak words over our lives that God never said. We speak words over our lives. Like I'm not good enough. I can't do this. I can't do that.
[00:09:23] I'll never be loved by this. And God says, no, no, I'm for you. I'm with you. I love you. You are chosen. You are chosen. That's what he says to you. That should bring us such great joy. My joy is not my strength. It's the joy of the Lord, that is my strength. It's not dependent on me. On him. This is why joy is possible.
[00:09:51] Joy is possible because of the word of God. The word of God
[00:10:01] Next comes in the relationship. The relationship piece is, is crucial to all of this. Now, I don't know about you, but I like to go to the source. Okay. That's just me. I'm not into the rumor. Has it. Or he said, she said, I read this article. I saw this documentary people that watch documentaries, always saying, you got to watch the documentary.
[00:10:19] Okay. I get it. I understand, you know, I saw Tik Tok this and that. I want to go to the source. I want to, you know, from the horse's mouth, if you will. So what does Jesus have to say about joy? What does Jesus have to say about joy. Let's listen, let's watch this. It says Jesus. Talking to his disciples right here.
[00:10:37] This is found in John 16, verse 16. We'll read all the way through to 24. Jesus says in a little while you won't see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again. Some of the disciples asked each other, what does he mean in a little while, we won't see him, but we'll see him later. Am I going to the father?
[00:10:57] What does he mean by a little while? We don't understand. Now, did he fare the disciples? Rarely understood what Jesus said the first time. Okay. It's just true. Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it. So he said, are you asking yourselves what I meant when I said I'll be gone for a little while and you won't see me, but a little while after that, you will see me again.
[00:11:16] I tell you the truth. You will weep. You will mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn into wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor, but when their child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.
[00:11:39] So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again. And then you will receive joy. You will rejoice and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time. You won't need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth. You can ask my father directly. He will grant you your request because you used my name. You haven't done this before, but ask using my name and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
[00:12:10] Abundant joy. Even the title going into that passage is called when your sadness turns into joy. See, this is a relationship. They are so close with Jesus. This, this is not just words on a page for them. They have been with Jesus the past three years. They've traveled with him. They've slept in the same places.
[00:12:31] I mean, they've ate with him. They've laughed with him. They've learned from him, they know him. And so when he says this, obviously before he goes to the cross, he's saying, you're going to get really sad because it's going to get bad. It's going to get dark. It's going to be tough, but then you will have my joy.
[00:12:49] Then you will have this joy. No one can steal from you. I love that. Because of God gives joy. No one could steal that. No one can, God doesn't run out of joy. He gives it to us. It's because this relationship we have with them. And then I love it. So beautiful. This abundant joy, this abundant joy. We don't run out.
[00:13:11] No scarcity here. We have this joy because it's his joy in our lives because of the relationship we have with him.
[00:13:24] So let me ask you a question. Let me ask you to. Now to be fair, your friends, your family, they could answer these questions for you. But I'm gonna let you off the hook. You get to answer these questions alone. Okay. Their input doesn't matter right now. Okay. I got you. Would you consider yourself a joyful person?
[00:13:42] Be honest. Don't raise your hand. Don't tell me right now. Okay. Just inwardly. Do you consider yourself a joyful person? Even furthermore, what others consider you a joyful person? Or are you a joy to be around when you walk into the room? Do they just say, oh my goodness, joy is here. Joy is here. I'm so glad you came here.
[00:14:06] Yeah, that's awesome. Now there's really only three answers to these questions. The first one is yes. Second one is no, the third is yes, if. I believe the majority of us we're yes, if. Okay. We just are. Are you, are you a joy to be around? Yes. If I've had my coffee. Yes. If the kids are behaving. Yes. If my wife, you know, gives you a little peck on the cheek, says they have a good day as, okay.
[00:14:37] Yes. If it's just what we do, it's where we find ourselves in. Ya'll I'm a job. I'm a joy to be around. I'm a joyful person. If things go my way. Well, that's your answer. And I've answered it this way before myself. Then that means our joy is dependent on our circumstances, but that's not joy. Joy is so much bigger than that.
[00:15:06] I did a deep dive on the word, joy. The Greek word, the original language, the root of it all. It's Chara Chara. Now I'm going to read this and there's no slide up here. I want you to let these words just wash over you. Listen, intently to what Chara is about. Talking about joy. Chara is a feeling of inner gladness delight or rejoicing, not dictated by favorable circumstances, but emerging from a deep down sense of wellbeing that abides in the heart of a person that knows all is well between themselves and the Lord.
[00:15:53] That's joy. That's joy. That's why joy is possible. That's why joy is possible because it is the relationship that we have with God. It's based on the relationship that we have, where we stand, where we're at between. If we're doing good in that department, we can have this joy does it D it doesn't matter.
[00:16:20] These. Circumstances.
[00:16:26] Lastly, it's the perspective, the perspective that God gives us. I fly often and I fly to Seattle a lot because I used to live there. I lived in Seattle about 20 years, and so I still have friends and family that lived there and I'll go visit them. And a few years back, I was flying out of Seattle, going back home here to Arizona.
[00:16:48] And I was sitting on the window, the window seat. That's my, I like the window seat. Okay. I fly Southwest because it's cheap bags, fly free. It's always a good thing. And, but trust me, you do not want to check in late. Cause you get that center row. Nobody wants that center row. If you have this in a row and like you enjoy that, I'm praying for you.
[00:17:05] That's just weird. Okay. That's like you, I don't like your elbows. Okay. Anyways, I'm a window guy. And this particular time, I usually have my window flap close. I just no big deal put in the AirPods and just do it do thing. But this time I opened up the window cause it was storming. I mean, it was really, really storming.
[00:17:24] I wanted to check it out. Now it rains in Seattle all the time. Now I see you. You think you like rain, you live in Arizona. You think you like rain, you don't actually like rain. You like the idea of rain. Okay. You just like the idea of it. I lived in Seattle where it rains 200 days. In a row. Okay. In a row, nobody's got time for that.
[00:17:41] Like, nobody wants that. It's not, it's not fun to you. Like, like three, four days, like, Ooh, I would like snuggle over the blanket at a good book and like a fire, but it's like a fake fire cause I live in Arizona. But anyways, so it was, it was raining more than usual this day. So I opened up that flat. I'm like, this is wow.
[00:17:56] Lightening, thunder, the whole thing we take off. And it's ours rumbling, the most turbulent flight I've ever been on. I mean, we were bouncing. I was like sitting on my seatbelt. I gotta stay on this thing now. I don't know where as we start going up, the captain comes up. This is your captain speaking. I know you are experienced some turbulence right now, but don't worry.
[00:18:18] Once we get above the weather, we'll be fine. It will be smooth sailing. I said, above the weather. What does that even mean? How are we going to get out of this? We're still in Seattle, above the weather. He said it was in just a moment. I go, okay, what is going on here? Cause it's wild out there. It's dark. It was three in the afternoon was pitch black.
[00:18:39] It was that dark sky was that dark. Clouds were that gray rain, everything. And then just like the captain said, we popped up over the weather and it was sunshine. Blue skies. Uh, I put my cheek to the window that used to have rain droplets on there, pre COVID. And I just was feeling the warmth from the sun on my face.
[00:19:10] And I said, how is this possible? We were above the weather. We had a new perspective. It was still storming right below us, but because we were just a little bit higher. We could see differently. I did nothing to get myself out of the storm. All I did was stay seated and I let the captain do his work. I let the captain fly the plane so I could see something different.
[00:19:42] See church. We have to be able to acknowledge both realities. But we get to live by the realest one, the fullest one, the richest one, the most abundant of joys by the power of the Holy Spirit that can be in us because Jesus will take us to new heights where we can see things. We never thought possible.
[00:20:08] Psalm 30 verse five says this weeping may last for the night, but joy, comes in the morning. How is that even possible? Well, it's because God provides. God always provides. Because he provides anything as possible. Lean in, write this down. God provides for us so we can have a different perspective. That's why he does it.
[00:20:43] He provides for us to give us a different perspective he provides for us. So we don't think that we did it, that we got it, that it's on us, that everything's dependent on me. And, you know, he provides who he is. I could never have done that, but he's provided now for me, he gives us a completely different perspective.
[00:21:05] Listen, I have two very simple sentences, but they're so profound. If we take them in. If your life is going great right now that does not determine your joy, does it. Okay. If your life is going terrible right now, that does not determine your joy.
[00:21:28] And I want to, I want to talk to in the room, every campus, online, some people that might be saying Tyler,
[00:21:40] I hear what you're saying, but you don't know what I'm going through. You don't know the storm on, then maybe you've lost a loved one, lost a relationship, lost a job. You have no idea what you're going to do financially. Maybe you just haven't experienced joy and you can't even remember the last time.
[00:22:11] I've been there. My wife taught me something few years back about five years or so, we're going through infertility and we wanted to get pregnant. We wanted to have kids and years and years would go by and it wasn't gonna happen. And we literally were sitting there across the desk and the doctors on the other side looks at us as it's not going to happen for you guys.
[00:22:34] I'm sorry, it's not in the cards for you guys to have kids and I'm just being my usual self it's all good? No worries. I'm happy. Go. Lucky. We got this. It's all good. We're going to be fine. Then I came home one day and I saw my, my wife on the couch. She was a mess. She was so dejected. She was so sad, she's crying.
[00:23:08] And my first instinct, my knee jerk reaction was to go over to it's going to be fine. Everything's okay. And thank the Lord. She stopped me before I did. And she said, Tyler, I just need you to acknowledge it sucks right now.
[00:23:31] I just made you to sit on the couch with me and be sad.
[00:23:43] So I did, and I learned,
[00:23:52] and maybe I just hug my two boys now that we have a little tighter because. Maybe I take too many pictures of him now. I don't care. I don't care. Cause our skies were gray for a long time and we didn't see a way out,
[00:24:15] but Jesus, Jesus, who we all would consider full of joy. It's gotta be of course he's full of joy. Yet it's recorded in scripture multiple times that he wept and watch this. Jesus knew the outcome. Jesus understood. The outcome, knew exactly when it was going to be okay, but still in the moment who would cry would be sad.
[00:24:45] So why do we think we shouldn't be, obviously, there's going to be times there's going to be moments. Remember back to the pow that survivor. He said it wasn't the pessimistic people that made it out. It wasn't the negative people that made it out. It was the people that could hold simultaneously, both the good and the bad realities, call them what they were.
[00:25:16] They could see them both completely and fully. And God says, look, look at your situation. There is a time to mourn. There is a time to feel all of the pain, but Jesus came so we could see the whole picture. So we could be above the weather. No matter how gray your clouds are. Our joy is dependent on him.
[00:25:49] Not on us. So just stay faithful, just stay on the plane, stay seated. Let the captain do what the captain does. Let him take you to a place of a new perspective that only he can provide you, can't will yourself out of these storms. You can't just break away. You can't try to put on joy, joyous from him and him alone.
[00:26:20] But it's possible. Joy is possible because of the perspective God provides. It's not dependent on us. Once we know what God says about us, the relationship we have with him and the perspective he gives us, we can have this joy that lasts the long haul that when we have it, we receive it. We say, oh my goodness, it's everywhere.
[00:26:44] Not saying you're going to be happy all the time, because happy is here. Joy is something bigger, greater it's from within Chara. It's because you understand where with God, how he feels about you. What'd he calls you who he is to you. And if you know, I'm good with God, I know who he is. I know who I am in him.
[00:27:10] You can have joy. It's deep. It's real. It's beautiful. God is in the business of providing that's what he does. He provides for us. Just a moment. Worship. Team's going to come back out and they're going to sing that song that they introed earlier on Gyra. I love this song. It says you are enough Gyra, meaning God will provide Jehovah Gyra.
[00:27:46] God will provide that's who he is when we say no matter what, no matter of circumstance, you are enough. That is a declaration over our life that we honestly. That's hard to say, but when you believe it changes everything. I think one of the greatest ways to respond to the word isn't worship is to leaning in and especially worshiping when you don't feel like it, especially singing.
[00:28:18] When you don't want to say, because you say you don't know what I'm going through, you don't know what I'm in. God, not only knows what you're in. He's been there with you. He's there with you now by the power of your holy spirit, we can do something in our lives. We can actually lift our hands. Let's lift our voices, lean into a God has saying you will provide no matter what circumstance I'm in the worst situation, or maybe you're in the best situation that doesn't dictate your joy.
[00:28:52] That doesn't dictate your praise. That doesn't determine your relationship with God. It's cause he's good. It's his joy we receive. We just stay on the plane. That's who he is. Let's pray. God ya good. Thank you for who you are. God, thank you for providing, thank you for your word. What you speak over our lives.
[00:29:19] Help us to receive that every single day.
[00:29:24] Thank you for the relationship we have with you, this intimate, incredible relationship that we have with you. You love us much.
[00:29:35] The closer we are with you, the spirit will continue to move through our lives and the God. Thank you for the perspective that you give. Only you can provide this perspective. Let us see above the weather. God we know down below the weather is still bad, but you take us to a new place, help us to see what you see.
[00:30:02] We love you, God. You're worthy of all the praise. All the honor goes to you. And it was said, and she's name. Amen. Love you.