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Published byRalph Bond Modified over 7 years ago
“He looks as though he was weaned on a pickle.” —Alice Roosevelt Longworth Do you live a “joyful” life? “The trouble with many men is that they have got just enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion.” (Billy Sunday) 2
Does your relationship with God bring you joy or misery? Can you join with Paul in Philippians 4:4? Consider what Paul says about joy: Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22-23 You may have the wrong impression about joy. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” —A. Lincoln Joy requires conscious effort, a CHOICE! 3
Those of the world only experience joy when good things happen to them, not so with Christians! Jas. 1:2 How can we find joy in trials?! Because it tests and refines our faith: 1 Pet. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 4:16-5:11 Because it gives us an opportunity to develop patience, hope and faith: Jas. 1:2-3; 5:11; Job 1:20-22 We put our trust in God and look beyond the “here and now”: 1 Pet. 1:6-9; Heb. 11:13-16 We develop Christian character and strengthen our hope: 1 Pet. 1:3; Psa. 126:5-6; 1 Pet. 4:12-13 5 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Similar to joy in trials: Matt. 5:11 Jesus is the ultimate example in this regard: Heb. 12:2; 1 Pet. 2:23 How do we overcome persecution? Just like Jesus did! Lk. 6:22:23; 2 Cor. 4:17 The apostles provide a wonderful example of finding joy in persecution: Acts 5:40-42 The Lord’s “cheering section” is urging us on to victory! Heb. 12:1-2 Let’s follow Paul’s example: Acts 20:22-24 6 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Paul praised the Philippian saints: Phil. 2:2 What a joy to be able to associate with the best people on earth! 2 Pet. 1:1 Compare God’s people with people of the world…who do you want to associate with? Fellowship with gospel preachers also a source of joy: Phil. 4:14-16, 17; 1:4-5 7 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
John found joy in obedient brethren: 3 Jn. 3-4 Paul expressed similar thoughts: Col. 1:9-10; Phil. 1:25-26; 1 Thess. 1:6-7 The Psalmists expressed similar thoughts: Psa. 119:111-112, 131, 162 Jesus praised the church in Philadelphia for their obedience: Rev. 3:8 Drawing ourselves closer to God is always an occasion for joy! Jn. 8:31; 1 Jn. 2:5; Jn. 14:21, 23 8 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Isaiah expressed the joy of salvation: Isa. 12:2-3; Hab. 3:18-19 God has solved our most unsolvable problem! Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Matt. 16:26; Eph. 2:1, 5-6 We can see the “joy of salvation” by heaven’s response: Lk. 15:2-7, 8-10, 11-32 The Ethiopian eunuch experienced this joy: Acts 8:38-40; Matt. 13:44, 45-46 9 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
All faithful Christians want to hear these words: Matt. 25:23 God promises us a “crown of righteousness”: 2 Tim. 4:6-8; 1 Thess. 2:19-20 Please read this week’s Words of Life. Do you spend time contemplating the “joy” of heaven? Jn. 16:22; Jude 24-25 10 Joy Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
11 Living the Christian life is the only way to experience true and lasting joy. Even in the face of trials and persecution the Christian can know true joy! Isa. 26:3-4; Psa. 5:11-12; 16:11 And, most importantly, only the faithful Christian will experience the ultimate joy of eternal life!
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