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A Time to Fight for Joy
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastor                     rejoice-always.jpg 

 

If ever there was a time we need to fight for joy, it’s now. And it’s not only possible, but it’s one of the great blessings of the Christian life.

 

It’s so hard not to get discouraged with all the terrible and discouraging things happening in our country and around the world right now. It's frightening to see such vicious disregard for human life. And many of these people are completely unreachable with reason, argument, love, compassion, or any other means. As Christians we know that only the Holy Spirit and the gospel of Jesus Christ can change them. Until then we have violent protests. Police officers getting gunned down in cold blood. Savage acts of terrorism at home and abroad. Concerns about the upcoming presidential election.

 

It’s stressful. We feel helpless.

 

So how are we to react to it all? How can we “rejoice always” when things are crashing all around us?

The apostle Peter knew all about terrible trials. And so did many of the Christians of his day. And he gave them (and us) some great counsel.

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV)

 

He didn’t ignore the fact that they were experiencing great trials. We don’t just try to live without thinking or close our eyes real tight. We leave things that are out of our control in God’s hands and we train our thoughts on the soul-stabilizing, joy-producing truths of God’s promises.

 

Brethren, remember what’s true. Meditate on it. Think about it when you’re tempted to despair. Let it fill you with joy and hope.

  • You are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 
  • You have a beautiful, indescribable inheritance waiting for you in heaven.
  • Your heavenly inheritance is imperishable. It’ll never decay. It’ll endure forever.
  • Your heavenly inheritance is undefiled. There’s no sin or evil or wickedness there. Ever. How encouraging is that?
  • Your heavenly inheritance is unfading. It’ll never fade away or diminish.
  • It’s kept in heaven for you. Guaranteed by the power of Almighty God.

And Peter says, “in this you rejoice”! Even when you’re walking through the fire of trails and difficulty. Walk through the trials with God – in complete dependence on His goodness, grace, power, sovereignty and providence. And meditate on the truth of God’s promises.

 

Think on our glorious Savior – really think on Him – and let your heart “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

 

God may use you to help make a difference in some way in these troubled times. But let these truths anchor your soul and encourage your heart when you’re tempted to be discouraged and downcast. 



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