40 Joys Through Jesus

Needing a bit of a pick-me-up on Sunday afternoon, I ran a search for “joy” using Logos Bible software and found over 40 joys produced by Jesus. Hope these cheer your own heart as they did mine. “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4).

Christ’s nearness: For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (Luke 1:44)

Christ’s coming: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. (Matt. 2:10)

Christ’s birth: And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. (Luke 1:14)

Christ’s availability: Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. (Luke 2:10)

Christ’s Word: This is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. (Matthew 13:20)

Christ’s value: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)

Christ’s home: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:21)

Christ’s resurrection: So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. (Matthew 28:8)

Christ’s reproach: Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. (Luke 6:23)

Christ’s power: Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17)

Christ’s salvation: Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)

Christ’s too-good-to-be-trueness: But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” (Luke 24:41)

Christ’s ascension: And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  (Luke 24:52)

Christ’s marriage: He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. (John 3:29)

Christ’s joy: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11).

Christ’s re-appearing: Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22)

Christ’s answers: Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)

Christ’ prayers: But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. (John 17:13)

Christ’s healings: For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. (Acts 8:7-8)

Christ’s conversions: So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. (Acts 15:3)

Christ’s finishing line: But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Christ’s Kingdom: For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

Christ’s hope: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Christ’s people: That I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. (Romans 15:32)

Christ’s servants: Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Christ’s Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22)

Christ’s faith: And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. (Philippians 1:25)

Christ’s unity: Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (Philippians 2:2)

Christ’s strengthening: Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (Colossians 1:11)

Christ’s Spirit: And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 1:6)

Christ’s return: For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

Christ’s love: For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. (Philemon 7)

Christ’s refreshing: Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord. (Philemon 20)

Christ’s reward: Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Christ’s trials: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. (James 1:2)

Christ’s faith: whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)

Christ’s sufferings: but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings. (1 Peter 4:13)

Christ’s glory: that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:13)

Christ’s sanctification: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 4)

Christ’s preservation: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 24)

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Sleep Your Way to Success

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame, both say that we should sleep our way to success.

In their speeches and the Q&A at the launch of Huffinton’s new book, Thrive, they both kept coming back to the importance of getting enough sleep.

“For many years the way I thought that I would get everything done was to get less sleep,” Sandberg said. The Facebook COO said she has taken Huffington’s advice to heart; she now makes a conscious effort to not only sleep more, but to spend at least five minutes a day meditating, even though “it’s really hard.”

Some in the audience were skeptical, but Huffington insisted:

When I look back, all my biggest mistakes were when I was burned out…I look back and life would have been incredibly easier — if I’d slept more.

I’ve been studying (and trying to practice) this more in my own life. Last year, in The Sermon You Preach in Your Sleep, I wrote about how our sleep pattern reveals our theology.

I’m scheduled to speak on the subject at a few conferences in the next few months, and hope to explain the impact of sleep in six areas of life. Here’s some of the research about the impact of sleep on the physical and emotional realms.

Physical Consequences

  • Just one week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night results in changes to more than 700 genes.
  • Just one night of sleep deprivation is linked with signs of brain tissue loss.
  • Infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
  • Sleeping fewer than seven hours a night is associated with a tripled risk of coming down with a cold.
  • Lack of sleep increases hunger, portion size, and preference for high-calorie, high-carb foods, with the resulting risk of obesity
  • Chronic sleep deprivation (less than 6 hours a night) associated with
    • Skin aging
    • 4 x stroke risk for middle- and older-aged people
    • 50% higher risk of colorectal cancers, and some links with other cancers too
    • 48% higher chance of developing or dying from heart disease
    • Lower fertility rates.

Emotional Consequences

  • Sleep loss produces apathy, irritability, weepiness, impatience, anger, flattened responses,
  • Sleep loss can cause psychological damage because sleep regulates the brain’s flow of epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, chemicals closely associated with mood and behavior.
  • People with insomnia are 10 times as likely to develop depression and 17 times as likely to have significant anxiety.
  • The lack of sleep affects the teenage brain in similar ways to the adult brain, only more so, and can lead to emotional issues like depression and aggression.
  • In one study by researchers at Columbia University, teens who went to bed at 10 p.m. or earlier were less likely to suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts than those who regularly stayed awake well after midnight.

So, it’s not just sleep your way to success, but sleep your way to health, strength, and happiness.

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