Summary: Joy in the Lord is to be understood, received, and experienced and we are to do this always!
What’s the opposite of joy??
The opposite of joy is misery.
Which do you prefer, to rejoice or to be miserable?
What does God want for us?
Christians are commanded to rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 tells us, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice!
Does this mean Christians are to be happy all the time? Look at the verse again; Christians are not to simply rejoice in any old thing; Christians are to rejoice always in the Lord! How are we all doing with this? How often do we really think about the Lord? Have we really understood the Lord? Joy in the Lord is not something you force on yourself or on someone else. Joy in the Lord is to be understood, received, and experienced! And we are to do this always!
Our passage in Romans this morning will help us understand why we can rejoice. Please open your Bibles to Romans 5. Before reading our passage, let us all pray our commitment to God’s Word……….
Read along with me Romans 5:1-11…..
According to Romans 5:1-11, Christians, while here on earth, are to rejoice about 4 things! What are they and why should we rejoice? Real joy happens when one truly understands the reason for that joy.
Why should we rejoice? The end of verse 2 tells us to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Christians can rejoice because the glory of God has been revealed and will be coming. The coming glory of God is the blessed hope of the Christian while still living here on earth!
What does this mean? We talked about it last week by looking at 3 verses: Hebrews 1:3 states, The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Titus 2:13-14, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
And look again at verse 5 of Romans 5…………
Christians have God the Holy Spirit in their hearts!
Jesus Christ has come in the flesh to save people!
The Holy Spirit indwells the Believer in Christ!
Jesus will return to earth to take Christians to heaven!
God has taken care of everything for the Christian; past, present, future, and forever! If you don’t believe this, then you don’t have a reason to rejoice. But if you believe in Jesus Christ and what God says about Believers of Christ, then you can rejoice, for God has taken care of everything for the Christian; past, present, future, and forever! Let say it together, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!
Now look again at Romans 5:3…..
What? Rejoice in sufferings? Isn’t this an oxymoron? Christians are to rejoice in sufferings! You know what an oxymoron is right? An oxymoron is a phrase that seems to contradict itself like: Artificial Intelligence! Jumbo Shrimp! Do you know any other ones???
Oxymorons only make sense when you understand its meaning. And so, how can we rejoice in sufferings? God tells us! If we persevere in our sufferings, it will bring us character which leads to hope. Does this make sense? What happens when you don’t have hope?
Simply, when you don’t have hope, you become hopeless!
What good is life when everything is hopeless? What good is the future when there is no hope? God did not give us life just to be hopeless! And so, we must have hope and hope is produced through sufferings. How does this happen?
The key is perseverance! Turn to James 1:2-8..
No matter what happens, Christians must persevere in their faith in God and in Jesus Christ; this is the perseverance which brings character and leads to hope!
If you’re going through a trial right now, where else can you go? Only god has the power to do the impossible! And what does James 1:5-8 tell us? Pray with faith! We persevere through prayer! But let us remember, praying is a 2 way street; it is both talking and listening! If you are struggling with something right now, definitely talk to God about it; but never forget to also listen. If God is for us, who can be against us!
Say it again with me, Rejoice in the Lord always…..
Now back to Romans 5. What are the other 2 things Christians are to rejoice about? Look again at v11……
Christians are to rejoice in God and whatever was said before v11. Romans 5:6-10 tells us what Jesus Christ did for us!! While we were still sinners, our Creator God Jesus Christ died for our sins! Through Jesus Christ, Christians are justified before God, cleared of all wrongdoing! Christians are no longer enemies of God; Christians are saved from God’s wrath! Christians are to rejoice in what Jesus did and what He is doing in our lives right now! This is why we do communion! Say it again with me, Rejoice in the Lord always….