Hebrews 3 Lesson

Joy!

JOY

For today’s lesson, we will be talking about joy! Our focus scripture is from the Book of Hebrews:

  • “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” -Hebrews 3:15.

As Christians, we are supposed to have joy in our lives. Joy is one of nine attributes Paul wrote about when referring to the “Fruit of the Spirit,” in his letter to the Galatians:

  1. Love,
  2. Joy,
  3. Peace,
  4. Patience,
  5. Kindness,
  6. Goodness,
  7. Faithfulness,
  8. Gentleness,
  9. Self-control.

Yes, the Bible is clear that we are to have joy in our lives. But what about those times when we struggle? What if we feel our hearts hardening? What should we do then?

For today’s lesson, we will list four things we can do to keep our hearts from hardening that will bring more joy into our lives:

  1. Thinking positively,
  2. Giving thanks,
  3. Serving others,
  4. Forgiving others.

We will cover each of these in more detail, and then the lesson will be yours.

THINKING POSITIVELY

The Bible is clear that God wants us to have positive thoughts in our heads. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Philippians:

  • “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

Being negative or complaining does not glorify God and it is not what we are commanded to do. By thinking positively, we bring more joy into our lives.

GIVING THANKS

Another thing that we can do to bring more joy into our lives is to give thanks to God every day. As you read the following two scriptures, notice the importance that the Bible places on giving thanks to God:

  1. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,
  2. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” - Colossians 3:17.

Giving thanks is something we are commanded to do. The more we give thanks to God, the more joy we will have in our lives.

SERVING OTHERS

One of the best ways to have joy ourselves is to bring joy to others. If we take the focus off ourselves, we will find all kinds of opportunities to serve others and bring joy to their lives.  When we do this, we will find joy ourselves!

Peter wrote in his first epistle:

  • “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” -1 Peter 4:10.

Whatever spiritual gifts God has blessed us with, we are to use them to glorify Him and to serve one another. When we humble ourselves and do things God’s way instead of our own, we glorify God, and we will have more joy in our lives.

FORGIVING OTHERS

The Bible talks a lot about forgiveness. Forgiving others is important to God and necessary if we are going to have joy in our lives.

When we hold a grudge, our hearts become hardened, and we are not following the example of Jesus who while being crucified said:

  • “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” - Luke 23:34.

John Hopkins Medicine published an article entitled, "Forgiveness: Your Health Depends On It."  This article highlighted the health benefits that are associated with forgiveness:

  • “Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress.” (Source: hopkinsmedicine.org)

Peter asked Jesus:

  • “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” -Mathew 18:21.

Jesus responded:

  • “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” -Mathew 18:22.

As Christians, we are to show compassion and not judgment, and we are to forgive one another. When we practice forgiveness, we are obeying God’s commandments and we will have more joy in our lives.

CONCLUSION

Joy is something that God wants us to have in our lives. If we are not careful, our hearts can become hardened. Joy is one of nine attributes that make up the Fruit of the Spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control).

To increase our joy, there are four things that each of us can do:

  1. Think positively,
  2. Give thanks,
  3. Serve others,
  4. Forgive others.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture about joy:

  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13.

Comments

Michael

Great lesson, thank you!

Reply