Summary: May we thank God for the joy we could have even in a troubled world. May we rejoice in His promise of future joy with Jesus. May we indeed realize what Nehemiah said, “the joy of the Lord is our strength!” (Neh. 8:10). May we ever rejoice daily and consci
Intro: Can you read the newspaper or listen to the news and rejoice? (Sample typical news) Discouraging isn’t it? Only a true Christian can rejoice due to his special joy in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). Even after reading and hearing of bad news, we can still “rejoice in the Lord” because we have also read and heard good news from the Bible! To “rejoice in the Lord” is not merely a suggestion but a direct COMMAND! “Rejoice, rejoicing, joy” are found 373X in the KJB. This is not an impossible command as its basis is not in changing conditions but in our unchanging Heavenly Father! We are even more impressed when we discover that this command was originally given to Paul, an old man in prison battered by storms and afflictions of life. Yet he never was bitter but managed to be filled with joy – a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Moreover, rejoicing in the Lord is not mere contentment and resignation. It is caused by good memories of the past, grace we enjoy for the present, and hope of the future – which are all centered in Christ. We Christians have five reasons to rejoice in the Lord –
1. WE CAN REJOICE IN HIS WORD (Psa. 119:111)
The Bible is a priceless treasure! (Explain). Look around you. Everything you see will grow old and pass away (Isa. 40:8). The only thing visible that will last is what you hold in your hand now – the Holy Bible! (Matt. 24:35). We can now rejoice in the promises and consolation of God’s word.
2. WE CAN REJOICE IN HIS SALVATION (Psa. 13:5)
God’s word has a lot of joyous things to say about our salvation: Our sins have been forgiven; we are passed from God’s judgment and guaranteed eternal life; we are born into the family of God; we have God for our Father, Jesus for our Advocate, the Holy Spirit for our Guide; God’s love, grace, peace, mercy, strength, supply, and provision for the present; a future mansion and an immortal body in eternity! WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR? If you are not in Christ, you don’t know what great blessings you deprive yourself and what privileges you forfeit! So get right with God now!
3. WE CAN REJOICE IN SPITE OF TROUBLE (Psa. 31:7)
Can a Christian believer still rejoice in the midst of trials, sufferings, terminal illness, bereavement, and tribulations? The world says that is totally crazy! God’s word says, yes we can by God’s grace. It seems unnatural to the carnal mind to rejoice in adversity especially when you suffer because of your Christian principles (I Pet. 4:13). Yet, when we begin to evaluate our afflictions vs. the glory that is in store for us in the future, we can truly rejoice (II Cor. 4:17; Rom 8:18). Beloved, you who seemed to be weary and heavy-laden, meditate on these promises of God and rejoice!
4. WE CAN REJOICE IN THE FACE OF DEATH (Phil. 1:21)
Christians can not only rejoice in the midst of afflictions in life but also rejoice in the face of death (II Cor. 5:8; Rev. 14:13 cf. 14:11a). Only those who “die in the Lord” have rest and peace in eternity. To the Bible-believer, death is not defeat but victory; not total extinction but existence in heaven. Death is our doorway to our heavenly home. Do you have 100% assurance that when death knocks at your door, you can open the door but with confidence and look him straight in the face and say, “Okay, I’m ready to go to the Father!” If not, I beseech you to get right with God now.
5. WE CAN REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAY (Phil 4:4)
Must we wait until the Lord returns to be able to rejoice in the Lord? Not at all! The time of rejoicing is “alway” and “evermore” (I Thess. 5:16; John 16:33). This is the will and command of God! God’s word teaches us that rejoicing starts here and now. It will only continue in eternity!
Conclusion: May we thank God for the joy we could have even in a troubled world. May we rejoice in His promise of future joy with Jesus. May we indeed realize what Nehemiah said, “the joy of the Lord is our strength!” (Neh. 8:10). May we ever rejoice daily and consciously refuse to be bitter.