Category Archives: Joy / Rejoice

Rejoicing in Sorrow

Some people try to explain unhappy events as proof that God is not good. But His word helps us accept sorrow by teaching us to rejoice anyway (Rom 12:12). God can and will use unhappy times to help us rejoice (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28; 5:17; Phil 4:4).

I. THE SERIOUSNESS OF SIN

A. Adam’s warning (Gen 2:17)
B. Mankind’s warning (Rom 1:18)
C. Rejoicing: obedience (Rom 1:16; Acts 8:8, 39; 16:34)

II. THE CERTAINTY OF GOD’S PROMISES

A. Positive ones (Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:9; 2:25; Col 1:5; 1 Pet 5:7; Heb 4:16).
B. Negative ones (Rom 6:23)
C. Rejoicing: eternal life, salvation (Heb 5:8-9; 9:28)

III. TO SEE GOD’S GLORY & TO GLORIFY HIS SON

A. Jesus waited (John 11:6)
B. Jesus promised: resurrection & life (John 11:25-26)
C. Jesus promised: see the glory of God (John 11:40)
D. Jesus raised (John 11:43)
E. Rejoicing: belief (John 11:45)

IV. INVESTMENT IN HEAVEN

A. Treasures in Heaven (Matt 9:19-21)
B. Asleep in Jesus (1 Thess 4:14)
C. Rejoicing: baptism (Rom 6:6-10, 4)

For the Christian, sorrow is NOT dreadful!
A time of rejoicing will follow

Rejoicing in Hope

Some people try to explain unhappy events as proof that God is not good. But His word helps us accept sorrow by teaching us to rejoice anyway (Rom 12:12). God can and will use unhappy times to help us rejoice (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28; 5:17; Phil 4:4).

I. SERIOUSNESS OF SIN

A. Adam’s warning (Gen 2:17)
B. Mankind’s warning (Rom 1:18)
C. Rejoicing in hope: obedience (Rom 1:16; Acts 8:8, 39; 16:34)

II. CERTAINTY OF GOD’S PROMISES

A. Positive ones (Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:9; 2:25; Col 1:5; 1 Pet 5:7; Heb 4:16).
B. Negative ones (Rom 6:23)
C. Rejoicing in hope: eternal life, salvation (Heb 5:8-9; 9:28)

III. SEE GOD’S GLORY & GLORIFY HIS SON

A. Jesus waited (John 11:6)
B. Jesus promised: resurrection & life (John 11:25-26)
C. Jesus promised: see the glory of God (John 11:40)
D. Jesus raised (John 11:43)
E. Rejoicing in hope: belief (John 11:45)

IV. INVESTMENT IN HEAVEN

A. Treasures in Heaven (Matt 9:19-21)
B. Asleep in Jesus (1 Thess 4:14)
C. Rejoicing in hope: baptism (Rom 6:6-10, 4)

For the Christian, sorrow is NOT dreadful!
A time of rejoicing will follow!

The Joy of Serving the Lord

There is joy in becoming a Christian. There was “great joy” in city of Samaria when they accepted the gospel (Acts 8:5-8). After being baptized, the Ethiopian eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). The Philippian Jailer “rejoiced” after his baptism (Acts 16:34). Unfortunately, this joy often becomes diminished over time. The trials and struggles of life continue, with the added persecution that comes because of our commitment to Christ. These things can cause us to lose our focus, our zeal, and our joy.

What are some things we can do to help us remember the joy of serving the Lord in a world full of darkness and sin?

The Joy of Knowing We Know We Are Doing What Is Right. Serving the Lord is the right thing to do, and there is joy and satisfaction in knowing we are doing what is right, even if we are in the minority. “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9). In serving the Lord we are laying a solid foundation for our lives (Matt. 7:24-27), preparing ourselves to be useful to others (Titus 3:14), and doing what we were created to do (Eph. 2:10). This should bring us great satisfaction and joy.

The Joy of Worshipping God. Like David, we need to say, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’” (Ps. 122:1). The joy of worship is not an emotional or reactionary experience. It is a joy that is based in knowledge, reason and logic. When we remember who God is and what He has done for us (despite our sins), we will enter into worship with joy in our hearts. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (Ps. 95:1-2).

The Joy of Fellowship with Other Christians. One of the blessings of being a child of God is that we are not alone. We are part of a spiritual family, and this family is intended to be a source of joy. There is joy in our association with our brethren (Acts 2:46). There is joy in knowing others are walking in the truth (2 John 4; 3 John 4). We rejoice when sinners are converted to Christ and when erring brethren are restored (Luke 15:7, 10). There is joy in receiving help from our brethren (Phil. 4:10). “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1).

The Joy of Leaving a Good Example. We are to let our light shine so it can be seen by others (Matt. 5:14-16). Some people will not appreciate this, but others will benefit greatly from our godly example. The time we spend serving the Lord, without grumbling or complaining, is setting a positive example for others. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15). It is also rewarding to know we are setting a good example and leaving a spiritual legacy for our children to follow. The generation that arose after Joshua “did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals” (Judges 2:10-11). What are we leaving behind for our children? Are we bringing them up in the way that they should go?

The Joy of Investing in Something Eternal. We want to make wise investments of our time and money. Everything in this world will eventually perish (2 Pet. 3:10). We are not to labor for and lay up treasures that will perish on the earth, but that will endure to be enjoyed into eternity (Matt. 6:19-21; John 6:27). The people of the world run “to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). We rejoice, not because we have obtained fame and recognition in this world, but because our “names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

The Lord is not going to force us to serve Him. Neither is He going to force us to be happy while doing so. It is easy to become distracted and discouraged. The devil would love to see us walk away from the Lord, but we need to be like Paul and “finish our race with joy” (Acts 20:24). Have we found the joy in serving the Lord? – By Heath Rogers

Commitment to Joy

One of the disadvantages of a complex, fast-paced society like ours is that we get entangled in so many different concerns that there’s little time or inclination to be deeply involved in any of them. We don’t delve deeply; we dabble. But dabblers accomplish very little. Dwight Moody said, “Give me a person who says This one thing I do, and not These fifty things I dabble in.” Trying to do too much often keeps us from doing our best at anything. And to make matters worse, the very spirit of our age militates against the making of serious commitments. Modern people are wary of getting into anything they can’t easily get out of. We like to keep our options open. So we have two distinct tendencies that, when coupled together, make for a dangerous situation: we are frantically “busy,” but at the same time we don’t want to get “involved.” We suffer at once from a surplus of activity and a shortage of commitment. Our hectic fiddling with this, that, and the other puts us right there next to the fellow who described himself as being “deeply superficial.”

It is little wonder that we “get” so little “out of” what we do. We have forgotten the wise advice of our grandparents who told us, “You get out of things what you put into them.” They were telling us something that holds true for all of life’s endeavors: commitment and joy are partners. When we stand at a distance from the work and the relationships that ought to be dear to us, we forfeit the fulfillment that is available to us. But when we dig in, get truly involved, and risk the vulnerability of being genuinely committed, we find that life is a storehouse of satisfaction.

Consider three examples.

First, our marriages. If, like so many in our day, we eschew any real commitment and treat our marriages as “open,” disposable relationships, we ought not to be surprised that they provide little in the way of deep gratification. Do we spend little time nurturing our marriages? If so, they will simply not grow into rich and rewarding relationships. Marriage will never fulfill the expectations of those who only dabble with it.

Second, our involvement in the local congregation. Do we attend only the services that are convenient, and participate only in the work that suits us? Do we criticize what “they” are doing? If so, there will not be any real sense of joy that comes from our membership in the local church. We’ll receive little benefit from what God meant to be a rewarding relationship if we refuse to make a commitment to it.

Third, and most important, our devotion to the Lord Himself. Do we pray irregularly, study the Scriptures haphazardly, and reduce religion to grist for purely intellectual debate? Do we limit ourselves to routine, formal expressions of worship and praise? Do we fail to “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, and with all [our] mind” (Mt. 22:37)? If so, we will surely find spirituality to be the least interesting facet of our lives. But if, on the other hand, we have the courage to pursue God with a risk-it-all commitment, we will discover that “the joy of the Lord is [our] strength” (Neh. 8:10). God says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

It is, of course, “dangerous” to care deeply about important matters. When we put our heart into something, we put ourselves in position to be inconvenienced, disappointed, frustrated, and possibly even hurt. But if we take the easy way out and avoid serious commitments in life, we doom ourselves to an impoverished existence. Sooner or later, the person who sows sparingly will find that he also reaps sparingly.

So, my friend, care and care deeply about God. Without delay, do two things: commit yourself passionately to the worship of God, and involve yourself tirelessly in the work of God. It will cost you dearly. In fact, it will cost you everything you ever thought was “yours.” But you will be the richer for risking this great investment. Joy will be the reward for your commitment. Having risked all else for the joy of God, you’ll be able to say with Paul, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Tim. 1:12). – By Gary Henry, Auburn Beacon, February 14, 2016