“Count your blessings — Name them one by one . . . “🎶 I sang this song as a young Christian. In thinking about my unsaved friend “Mike,” I’m counting the blessings I have in Christ. My heart goes out to him — for he doesn’t have these blessings because he doesn’t have the Lord.
We’ve looked at ten blessings so far, but there is an eleventh that I must touch on. And I long for my friend to have this blessing. But we must be true to the Bible and state that, when it comes to my lost friends . . .
11. THEY DON’T HAVE A PERMANENT JOY !
JOY is quite different from the kind of temporary happiness our world offers. Happiness, as someone has said, depends on happenings. Joy for the believer is solid and lasting and eternal, for it comes from the everlasting God! Dr. Willard S. Krabill has said that “The mentally and emotionally healthy are those that have learned when to say Yes, when to say No, and when to say Whoopee!”
Jesus promises A COMPLETE JOY in John 15:11 when He says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” He challenges His followers in John 16 by saying, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be COMPLETE.” (v. 24). He promises that the disciples’ grief will turn to JOY in John 16:20 and that no one can take away their JOY (v. 22).
Spiritual leaders like C.S. Lewis and John Piper focused much of their ministry on the concept of pursuing JOY in the Lord.
How do I pray for my unsaved friend? First I need to show that JOY in Jesus that my friend does not yet have. Second, I need to pray that he would sense a lack of true, biblical JOY in his life. (to be continued)