Sunday Novemeber 11, 2012
Salvation brings joy!
1 Peter 1: 6-9
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
( I wasn't able to attend my church this Sunday, so I will do a review of an online sermon I listened to recently.)
Joy is a result of God's gift of salvation. It is sin that makes joy depart from the believer's heart as we see in the life of King David. Psalm 51: 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit
Salavation has a built in joy that we can experience constantly.
Why then are we not rejoicing all of the time?
Many of God's people in the Bible suffered unjustly, were treated harshly but endured with patience. We also see how Jesus suffered and so as his followers, we too will suffer. The Bible teaches that we are blessed when we suffer for righteousness sake.
Difficulties do not need to diminish our joy. When circumstances are such that threaten to diminish our joy - where should I go for strength to go on?
We need to recognize that joy is tied to faith, to hope and to love. Joy is not cheap as it has been provided to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Positive circumstances can bring us happiness but real joy is not related to our present circumstances. So what does provide us with joy? What is the answer? The answer is the blessed hope that we have of eternal life.
The Blessed Hope of Eternal Life in Heaven:
As born again believers, we are in a relationship with the Lord while we live here on earth. This relationship will continue and the Lord Jesus himself will lead us to our eternal home in heaven. Therefore we can get our eyes off this world and off the circumstances we face here. The time we spend here on earth is very very short compared with our eternal life in heaven. This is a very small part of the whole. Therefore we need to set our affections and thoughts on things above.
Christ is our hope. This is not a mere wish - it is an abiding confidence that as Christ has been raised so also we will be raised with Christ to live with him eternally!
The Holy Spirit is our seal, our guarantee like an engagement ring - a ring of promise that will lead us to the marriage supper of the Lamb - those of us who are saved are the Bride of Christ!
We are not denying our pain, our sufferings our troubles and our sorrows here but we are looking ahead to the glory that we will experience when we see Christ!
With joyful anticipation we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ. The world will come to its conclusion - not by the destruction of the environment and the planet, not by war or disease, but with the return of Christ!
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.