Sunday, September 2, 2012

Be Continually Joyful

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4NLT).

If I say ‘be continually joyful’ you might think that I’m not realistic at all. Just look at the world today. It is filled with reasons to be downcast. The reality of suffering and sadness are unavoidable at this present moment. So I understand if you want to throw a big-hard-stone at me when I say ‘be continually joyful’.

Be continually joyful’ is what I say – this is the message I want to share today. This joyfulness does not depend on perfect circumstances or happy feelings; it is rooted ‘in the Lord’. This kind of joy is possible despite my problems because I know that God is with me (Emmanuel, ‘God with us’) to help me through them and that when troubles come my way, I consider it an opportunity for great joy (see James 1:2).

Crazy? Yes! Christians are crazy people! Paul was in prison writes this: ‘rejoice!God’s people ought to be the most joyful creature on earth because this temporary unhappiness in the world is nothing compare to our everlasting joy in the Lord. We can find genuine joyfulness only in the Lord and it can only come from God. Jesus is the source of this joy. John Piper writes, “Delighting in [Jesus] was not a mere preference or option in life; it was our joyful duty and should be the single passion of our lives.” When I display my joy in the Lord, God will be glorified. When I only seek my joy from Him, my soul satisfied. Oh I can’t express it fully in words –this joy in the Lord Jesus! Be continually joyful!

I’m done seeing my life only as here and now, but all the more to live with an eternal perspective in mind, to what is to come; experiencing joy in the fullness of God. When troubles happen I may cry but it won’t be long. When problems arise I maybe discourage but it’s just for a moment. Circumstances can’t get the best out of me for my joy is not on the temporary but in the Lord who is eternal and forevermore glorious. Resolved: - to be continually joyful in the Lord.

Let the godly rejoice.
Let them be glad in God’s presence.
Let them be filled with joy
” (Psalm 68:3NLT).

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