1. I suppose that we all have known Christian who go through life...
a. Looking like they were "weaned on a pickle"
b. Useless for any good work when things were going rough for them
2. But we have also known Christians who are the opposite...
a. Joyful, steadfast in doing good
b. Even though they are experiencing the same kind of hardships
3. Why the difference?
a. I believe that the joyful, steadfast Christian has found the
secret expressed in the Scriptures
b. One place this "secret" is found is in Ro 12:12...
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant
[As we consider this verse, there are several observations we can
I. THE JOYFUL LIFE IS BASED ON HOPE
A. MANY HAVE THE WRONG CONCEPT CONCERNING "JOY"...
1. That joy is a matter of personal temperament (one's
2. That joy is a matter of circumstances (one's environment)
3. But how can that be when being joyful is enjoined upon us
a. It is a command, a duty - 1 Th 5:16; Ph 4:4
b. Commanded even when things are rough - 1 Pe 4:13
B. TRUE JOY IS ABLE TO RISE ABOVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE...
1. Seen in the example of the Hebrews - He 10:34a
2. Also in the example of Christians in Asia Minor - 1 Pe 1:6
C. THIS IS BECAUSE THE KEY TO JOY IS "HOPE"...
1. Notice our text: "rejoicing IN HOPE"
2. It should be easy to see how hope is the source of joy in
a. A student, in hope of enjoying summer vacation, is happy
he thinks about it
b. Likewise, it was the strong hope of the Hebrews that gave
them joy despite the seizure of their property - He 10:34
c. Again, the source of the Christians' joy in Asia Minor
their hope of salvation - 1 Pe 1:5-6
D. TO BE JOYFUL IN LIFE, WE MUST HAVE HOPE!
1. If Christians are not joyful, it is because they are not
a. And that is only because their minds are so preoccupied
with things of this life
b. Ie, they are just religious enough to be miserable!
2. If they spent more time contemplating the hope we have as
Christians, joy would automatically follow!
a. Of course, hope is based upon faith - He 11:1
b. And faith comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:17
c. But if people do not read the Word, their faith is weak,
their hope is shallow, and their joy is minimal
[But if we let God's Word produce the faith necessary for a strong
hope, then we too can have that joy which will help us no matter what
This leads us back to our text, where we wish to make another
II. A LIFE OF JOYFUL HOPE WILL BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATIONS
A. FIRST, LET'S DEFINE OUR TERMS...
a. Means more than simply enduring, forbearing
b. It also takes in the thought of activity despite the
1) It is continuing to do good, regardless of the trials
2) Not just sitting there, refraining from doing
a. These could be trials suffered for the cause of Christ
b. Or those common to all (sickness, death, etc)
3. Paul is therefore talking about pressing on in doing good
B. THE KEY TO SUCH PATIENCE IS "JOYFUL HOPE"...
1. This can be illustrated in several ways...
a. The ATHLETE
1) Why does he or she endure the hardships of training?
2) The joyful hope of attaining victory!
b. The PILGRIMS
1) Why did they endure the hardships of sailing across
2) The joyful hope of finding freedom from religious
c. The COLLEGE STUDENT
1) Why does he or she endure the hardships of study and
2) The joyful hope of a successful career!
d. The EARLY CHRISTIANS
1) Why did they endure persecutions, pressing on in their
faithfulness to Christ?
2) The joyful hope of their inheritance in heaven! - He
2. Does this not explain why some Christians do not remain
steadfast when things get rough?
a. They do not have the "joyful hope" necessary
b. And why not? Their minds are so preoccupied with worldly
[One last observation I would like to make, based on our text...]
III. OUR LIFES WILL BE AS HOPEFUL, JOYFUL, AND PATIENT, AS THEY ARE
A. "CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER" IS ESSENTIAL!
1. The relationship between prayer and the joyful life is
elsewhere in the Scriptures
a. Notice 1 Th 5:16-18
b. If we pray without ceasing, we can rejoice always!
2. For in proper prayer, we are constantly reminded of our HOPE