I wish to encourage you in enjoying Jesus Christ this evening. It’s ironic how we Christians possess the greatest treasure in the universe, yet we can so quickly diminish our rejoicing because we have lost our joy of being “in Christ”.
For the believer, the Cross is the beginning and focal point of any and all joy. Repentance is the entrance into a life of joy in union with God, for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Once joy is established by the indwelling Holy Spirit, rejoicing becomes possible, because we …also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:11).
The born again child of God has reprioritised values. God gifted faith in the resurrected Christ enables us to acknowledge that though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory… (1 Peter 1:8-9). The Christ of Calvary is the pinnacle of joy for repentant sinners, and the centre piece of glory for God. This is why there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10).
We have entrusted our lives, our souls, into the care of him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy… (Jude 1:24-25). For although we have all …sinned and fall short of the glory of God, we …are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith…(Romans 3:23-25). Our salvation is established in redemption, our acceptance before an appeased God is absolutely certain in Christ, and our destiny of eternal life is guaranteed in the Holy Spirit! Joy is the only sensible and God honouring response.
Resist the things that rob you of joy, look continuously to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:2). Train your thinking, renew your minds (Romans 12:1-2), centre your thoughts on Jesus often during your busy daily schedules, and joy will grow. See God in every event, and joy will become deeply imbedded in your character. Tell others of why you have joy and it becomes contagious. Praise God, speak well of Jesus Christ, and joy will be written all over your face.
# Joy authenticates the reality of Christ to the unsaved world
# Joy over-shadows the pains and sorrows of hardship
# Joy strengthens relationships, particularly marriage
# Joy opens up opportunities to share the love and gospel of Christ with others
# Joy deepens the yearning for eternity and Christ’s return
# Joy is healthy for your body, mind, and soul.
# Joy elevates your spirit in heavenly pleasure while your feet are stuck on the earth.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).
Rejoicing in Christ: Lincoln Forlong