Summary: We learn from this section that our joy is based on God's mercy, our inheritance, our faith, and God's prophesies and promises.
A. Let’s start with this cartoon.
1. The cartoon shows a grumpy boy heading off to school with his dad reminding him: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
2. The boy replied: “I know ‘this is the day the Lord has made.’ Can’t I rejoice and be glad tonight?”
B. Do you ever feel that way – Can’t I rejoice later?
1. Maybe you don’t often feel joy-full.
2. But Scripture tells us to “Be joyful always.” (1 Thess. 5:16).
3. And Scripture says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)
4. Here’s a great quote: “We have learned that joy is more than a sense of the comic, more than earthly pleasure, and to a believer even more than what we call happiness. Joy is the enjoyment of God and the good things that come from the hand of God. If our new freedom in Christ is a piece of angel food cake, joy is the frosting. If the Bible gives us the wonderful words of life, joy supplies the music. If the way to heaven turns out to be an arduous steep climb, joy sets up the chair lift.” (Serwood Wirt, Jesus, Man of Joy)
5. And listen to these insightful words of Elton Trueblood: “The Christian is joyful, not because he is blind to injustice and suffering, but because he is convinced that these, in the light of the divine sovereignty, are never ultimate. The humor of the Christian is not a way of denying the tears, but rather a way of affirming something which is deeper than tears. Yes, a few things in life are absolutely tragic, no question about it. First among them, a joyless Christian.” (Charles Swindoll, The Finishing Touch, Word, 1994, p. 65)
C. So how can we experience this inexpressible and glorious joy?
1. How can we rejoice in the Lord always regardless of what is happening in our lives?
2. Those must have been important and often asked questions in the 1st Century as the church faced ongoing and ever-growing persecution.
3. Let’s look at how the apostle Peter answered those questions.
4. Our inexpressible and glorious joy is based on a number of things.
I. Our Joy is Based on God’s Mercy.
A. In First Peter 1:3, Peter wrote: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…
1. Peter began this wonderful section with a sweeping doxology regarding the wonder of our salvation.
2. And it all begins with God’s mercy.
3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. How great and wonderful is God our Father and His Mercy!
B. We would have no opportunity for salvation or joy if it were not for God’s mercy.
1. It is God’s mercy that is the motive behind everything that God does for us.
2. God’s mercy focuses on our miserable, pitiful condition as sinners.
3. God’s mercy is His compassion toward all of us who were dead in our transgressions and sins.