Summary: This is an idea I received while listening to a cassette of Bro. Bob Harrington "The Chaplain of Bourbon Street" He is a dynamic speaker and a great man of God.
There are some who do not completely understand the joy we have in being Christians. A lot of people are like a little boy who went to see his grandfather….
My friends, God did not save us to let us sit and sour. He expects us too be an example to a lost and dying world of His love. Too many times, people don’t want what we have because they see no joy in our lives.
I said it is fun being a Christian, not that it is fun being a church member. That is why we have so many vacant pews. Folk get so mesmerized with “church membership”, so hung up on trying to impress their fellow man that they don’t get the joy out of their salvation.
If you will smile sometimes – people will wonder what is going on in your life. They will ask you about it. This gives you an opportunity to share the saving power of Christ.
Imagine for a moment if everybody in here were having a good time and were singing. The praise that was leaving our mouth as sweet incense to our Father would be awe-inspiring and the lost person sitting in our misted would want to know why we were so excited. Why did we have so much joy?
Having joy in all circumstances brings so much to your life and helps you be a witness in the lives of others. As your pastor I want you too find joy in everything. So how do we do this? Let me show you three things that will start you on the way too having fun being a Christian.
I. Don’t have “hang up’s”.
A. Paul and Silas didn’t understand everything going on in their lives.
1. They didn’t know why they were beaten and thrown into prison.
a) They were minding their own business, walking around and sharing the Gospel of Jesus.
b) They tried to help one little girl that was possessed by an evil spirit and next thing they know they were used as a punching bag and locked away like a rabid dog.
2. Instead of being stuck on what they didn’t know, they trusted in what they did know.
a) I can just hear them talking…
(1) “God has not let us down yet, so why should we be concerned now?”
(2) “Silas, I know what we can do – Let’s just praise the Lord.”
(3) “Paul, while you pray I’m going to sing.”
B. We don’t know everything.
1. We get upset when things happen that we don’t understand.
a) We want answers and quite frankly sometimes there is none.
b) We want everything to be explained down to the last I dotted and t crossed.
2. We let things get us hung up, until we can’t have fun.
a) If you don’t understand what God is saying in Revelation get back over in Matthew where you do understand and where God can bless you.
b) If you don’t understand why someone has done you a certain way, go back to what God has done for you and celebrate.
c) Make people think you are crazy.
II. Don’t let your circumstances dictate your attitude.
A. Paul and Silas faced some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
1. You think you have problems, look at Paul and Silas.
a) They were falsely accused, arrested, and imprisoned.
b) They were beaten, shackled and put in the darkest, coldest section of the prison.
(1) But they refused to allow their horrendous situation to dampen their joy!
2. They did not blame God for allowing these things to happen to them.
a) Instead, they praised Him for His goodness!
(1) In the darkness of the night, they prayed and they sang.
b) God brought a miracle that released them from their chains, but perhaps the greater miracle was that His Holy Spirit could so fill them that even in their painful imprisonment they could overflow with joy!
B. Some of the difficulties we face are tough.
1. We may not have faced the same things that Paul and Silas face, but what we face is pretty intimidating.
a) You may be facing financial problems.
b) You may have problems with your spouse or children.
c) You may have an incurable illness.
(1) Refuse to allow your situation to dampen your joy.
C. Your joy as a Christian should not depend on your circumstances.
1. Joy comes from God.
a) Therefore it cannot be affected by what is outside of you.
(1) Don’t be fooled into letting the actions of others determine your joy.
2. True joy comes from knowing that God Himself lives within you and has fellowship with you.
(1) Regardless of your environment.
3. Real joy lies in the knowledge that God has completely forgiven you of every sin, and even now, He has a home prepared in heaven where you can spend eternity with Him