Grateful Joy


            Note to cell Leaders:We’re talking about a specific kind of joy. A joy that only comes when lived in community with other people. When a friend helps you out of a jam. Maybe even a complete stranger helps you on the side of the road. The point you’ve either had a need or you realize your needs or being met. So take a moment and think about some times when you’ve experience true joy because someone helped you out.

1. Have you ever been thankful for something or someone but failed to express your gratitude?

2. Do you think it’s easier to express gratitude or receive gratitude?     Have someone share a story about a time they were extremely grateful or received someone’s incredible gratefulness

3. Activity Illustration – make a snack or drinks for your group. See how long it takes before someone says “thanks!” When appropriate discuss how long it took before someone first said thanks. How did you feel when they said thanks? How did those who said thanks feel about the treats? Why did they say thanks?

Quote – “Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)

Main Points (Choose ONE)

1. Grateful joy comes from recognizing that you can’t do it on your own. (vv 12-16)

2. Grateful joy needs to be expressed in order to be experienced.


Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

1)      Grateful joy comes from recognizing you can’t do it on your own. (vv 12-16)

a)      Requires humility because we realize that we can’t do it on our own. (vv 12-13)

i)        For a quick discussion of the Old Testament Levitical laws concerning lepers look at Leviticus 13:45, 46.

b)      Requires asking if your need(s) are going to be met (v.13)

i)        The lepers had to ask for help! (v.13)

ii)      The lepers knew that Jesus could really help. (v.13)

iii)    The lepers had to take a step of faith and obedience (v.14)

c)      Requires realizing your needs(s) have been met (vv. 15-16)

i)        Only one realized this and returned to Jesus to express his thankfulness

2)      Grateful joy needs to be expressed to be experienced. (vv. 15-19)

a)      The one realizes he is healed and recognizes that it came from Jesus (vv. 15-16)

i)        He came back (v.15)

(i)     It wasn’t convenient or on the way.

ii)      He was exuberant (vv. 15-16)

(i)     Do you think he was like, “No big deal, but thanks.

b)      Jesus had no way of knowing (except, He was Jesus) if the others were thankful. (v. 17)

i)        To experience this kind of joy, it has to be expressed.

c)      No excuses

i)        The Samaritan came back (v. 15)

ii)      He was an outsider, a Samaritan (v. 16) – but he didn’t let that keep him from expressing this thankfulness

(i)     See John 4:9

d)      The one who expressed it received greater joy. (v. 19)

i)        All had received their healing through their obedience in verse 14.

ii)      What was Jesus telling him in verse 19?

(i)     Seemingly, he no longer needed to go to the priest.

(ii)   Because of his faith he perhaps recognized Jesus as the Son of God, verse 15, leading him to salvation.

(iii) Matthew Henry, a classical biblical commentator, said, “A sense of our spiritual leprosy should make us very humble whenever we draw near to Christ. It is enough to refer ourselves to the compassions of Christ, for they fail not. We may look for God to meet us with mercy, when we are found in the way of obedience. Only one of those who were healed returned to give thanks. It becomes us, like him, to be very humble in thanksgivings, as well as in prayers. Christ noticed the one who thus distinguished himself, he was a Samaritan. The others only got the outward cure, he alone got the spiritual blessing.”

Human Struggles

  1. In the midst of this story about being grateful, we are reminded that we need community. We need each other. We need God. In our humility we can experience a joy that is only felt when expressing our gratitude.  It’s easy to be a lone ranger in life. It’s easy to think we can do it on our own & we don’t need anyone’s help.
  2. In our culture, it’s become increasingly accepted to look out for numero uno. We can counter that with expressing gratefulness every day. We can change our own perspective on our problems as we become more grateful.

Application Helps

  1. The beginning of experiencing grateful joy starts with humility. Realize you need other people & God to make it through life. Are there some things or some areas in your life you need help with, but have been too afraid to ask. Need help with a class? Need some encouragement? Need some fun? Need someone to pray for you? Need help getting through a rough patch with God? Not understanding a scripture passage? Ask.
  2. You can only experience grateful joy when you express how grateful you are. Imagine that! Make it point that next time someone or God does something needed or unexpected for you to say thanks! Not only will you experience joy but you bring joy to your relationships.
  3. Make a daily goal to express your gratefulness to God for something, anything! You’ll be amazed at how your perspective on life will begin to change, no matter what is going on.