THE JOY-FILLED LIFE
"Rejoice ye in that day, and LEAP FOR JOY"
We think of being joyful when everything is going great in our lives. However, this is the opposite to the message of the Bible and the lifestyle of the early Christians. Let's look at the Scriptures that encourage us to be joyful. It's amazing to find that it's not when we are living the good life, but when things are difficult.
1. WHEN YOU ARE PERSECUTED
Matthew 5:10-12: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. REJOICE, AND BE EXCEEDING GLAD: for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Have people spoken evil things about you? Have they ridiculed you for believing in Jesus? What do they say about your being at home with your children? Homeschooling? Or having another baby? Do you get negative and sarcastic remarks? Don't get upset, dear mother. Rejoice. You are walking in truth. You are walking in the perfect will of God. Why would their remarks concern you?
I think it's time to gived up the wimpy life, don't you? Let's not get downhearted because someone says something nasty or ridicules what we do. What's a few negative words? There are millions of precious believers being tortured for their faith. Many are martyred. And all we get are some negative words. Let's stand strong, rejoice, and leap for joy! The passage in Luke 6:22-23 says: "Rejoice ye in that day, and LEAP FOR JOY."
After the apostles were beaten for their faith, Acts 5:41 tells us: "And they departed from the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
1 Thessalonians 1:6 (JBP): "You remember how, although accepting the message meant BITTER PERSECUTION, yet you experienced the JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT."
1 Peter 3:14: "But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, HAPPY are ye: and be not afraid of their terror neither be troubled."
1 Peter 4:14: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, HAPPY are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
2. WHEN EVERYTHING IS TAKEN FROM YOU
Habakkuk 3:17, 18: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I WILL REJOICE in the Lord, I WILL JOY in the God of my salvation."
3. WHEN ALL YOUR GOODS ARE PLUNDERED
Hebrews 10:34: "You took JOYFULLY the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."
How do you react when everything is taken from you or you lose everything by fire?
4. WHEN YOU FACE FIERY TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
1 Peter 4:12, 13: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
What was Paul's testimony? "I am EXCEEDING JOYFUL in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4). What is your testimony?
James 1:2: "My brethren, count it all JOY when you fall into various trials."
5. WHEN YOUR STRENGTH FAILS
Nehemiah 8:10: "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
6. WHEN YOU GO THROUGH POVERTY
In 2 Corinthians 8:2 (NLT) Paul tells us about the Macedonians who were experiencing extreme poverty and yet at the same time they were "filled with ABUNDANT JOY, which has overflowed in rich generosity." Even in poverty, they weren't only joyful, but ABUNDANTLY JOYFUL and ABUNDANTLY GENEROUS!
What's wrong with us saints today? We complain miserably when we think we don't have enough money. They were suffering poverty worse than us and yet they rejoiced.
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
"Dear Father God, please strengthen me to know that my life is hid with You. I do not have to be laid low by any circumstances or any hurtful words that are spoken to me. Help me to rejoice in You in all circumstances. Amen."
My aim is to live a REJOICING LIFESTYLE!