Last week Dale Turenne on his site wrote about joy in a follower of Christ's life. It's a short, yet good, read.
Dale addressed some interesting points, but what I found most compelling is how he confronts the issue that people are often motivated by an encouraging sermon listing steps or keys to unlock spiritual rewards:
Their are a mass amount of sermons and keys and tips to try and get your joy back. Do you ever wonder after you follow the 12 steps or use the 3 keys that it is only a temporary thing, and you try to refill it again and get your fix.
As Dale mentions, an encouraging sermon isn't necessary because there is a simple, biblical truth that unlocks joy: obedience to God. The Bible talks about how sin separates us from God but confessing our sins brings forgiveness and restoration to our relationship with God through Jesus.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:7-9 (ESV)