Always a reason to rejoice!
When business is going bad and your finances, relationships, health, marriage and a whole bunch of other things seem to be just plain challeng
How do we deal with the challenges of life? It seems like a lot of us have just grown up believing that life is tough and you endure through it and then you die and that’s it. But I really believe that whilst there are challenging circumstances and life can be really tough at times, we don’t have to suffer through things like the world suffers. We don’t have to just endure life. We can enjoy life. We live in a society which has shaped us and even church has shaped us, to go with the flow in dealing with challenging circumstances, whether it’s a loss of a loved one, or whether it’s just pressures of life. When things are bad, you can feel sad. When things are great, you can rejoice, you know, if the going is tough, then you can crawl under a rock and cry. It’s okay. They have trained us to just go with the feelings and indulgent them. And you know, I really believe that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s not wrong in that God doesn’t get angry with you if you get upset or if you get sad or if you have a down day – he loves you just the way you are, and he’ll meet you where you’re at and he will help you get from where you are to where you need to be. You don’t have to try and perform for God – just be where you’re at. Don’t try and appear to be further along the path of maturity than you already are. Don’t, don’t present yourself as a certain place of maturity when you’re not there just yet. Be Real with God. But you don’t have to fall apart when life is tough. You don’t have to indulge in the emotions of the moment. A lot of people think, you know, when, when someone dies, you have to indulge in the grief. You have to fall apart. You’re never gonna see them again. And you have, the Bible which clearly says that we don’t mourn like the world mourns. Whether that’s morning over the loss of a loved one, whether that’s morning over a tragedy or something like this, we don’t have to mourn like the world mourns because, praise God, this life is not all that there is.
A close friend of mine passed away a few years back and it was difficult for me. But my first response and reaction was “thank God that this life is not all that there is.” That friend of mine closed their eyes in this life and opened them in eternity. And we prayed for him to be raised from the dead but nothing happened. And you know what? I still believe in the miracle working power of God. I believe that God’s word is true, and I believe that miracles happen. I’ve seen miracles since then. The point is that when it doesn’t happen, I don’t fall apart and question God, it reaffirms my commitment to the word that God’s word is true and anything contrary is a lie. We’ve just got to value the word, what God says above our experience, above our feelings, above what’s happening around us.
Philippians 4 is a great passage and I want to read from the King James. It says in verse four, rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice. It’s saying rejoice in the Lord always. The book of Philippians is the most joy filled book in the New Testament. Paul is writing it from prison. How many of us would be able to be full of joy, be full of encouragement and writing encouraging letters to other people while we’re in prison? Now, very few of us are able to rejoice because we are looking at our circumstances and we’re negative about it. Paul is encouraged, he’s fired up and he’s writing from prison to say, rejoice in the Lord. Always. Your circumstances might not be worse rejoicing in, but you can always rejoice in the Lord. There’s always a re a reason to rejoice in God. I mean, if you just think about eternity and salvation and how in 10,000 years from now, you’re going to be with him forever. And whatever challenges you’re facing right now, if you put them into perspective in lots of eternity in 10,000 years time, you’re not going to worry about whatever tragedy you’re going through now because you’re going to be celebrating with Jesus and eternity.
And sometimes that’s the only way to overcome challenging circumstances in this life. Because you know, there will be challenges, there will be difficulties. And just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean that they’re just going to fade away. Sometimes they don’t fade away. But the point is you can still be full of joy no matter what happens around you, no matter what happens to you, and no matter what’s going on in the lives of those around you. Instead, as the scripture goes on, you can rather turn to God and talk to him, pray and you know, and that’s where we will pick it up next time. But I want to leave you just with this amazing thought that you can rejoice in all times, at all seasons. You might just need to put things into perspective. You might just have to focus on only what you’ve got in Christ and, and what he has done for you, spiritually speaking. If you’ve got nothing to rejoice in the physical realm and in the natural realm, just rejoice in the spiritual realm. But you’ve got a reason to rejoice. If you know anything about the Gospel, the good news of what Jesus has done for you.
ing, we sometimes have the tendency to believe that we’re just getting what we deserve! But don’t adopt that mentality! I remember at one point we didn’t stick to budget for one particular month, a few years back, and all of a sudden there was more month at the end of our money than money at the end of our month, if you know what I mean. We realized that we had overspent and my first thought was that we were just getting what we deserve now and would just have to push through. But as soon as I had that thought, I said, “no! Jesus took what I deserve. So I get what he deserves! Provision is included through the cross. He took what I deserve so that I get what he deserves.” Even though I have made mistakes in my life and not just in the area of finances, but in other areas, too, I just decided I’m not going to accept what I deserve because I am in Christ and I want what Jesus deserves. I’ve made mistakes. I realized that, but I He took what I deserve on the cross so that I can get what He deserves! We didn’t tell anyone that we didn’t have as much money as we usually do, or that we were struggling, and you know what? God provided and we never lacked once! And that’s awesome! We need to learn to rely more on his grace instead of relying on our own performance.
And that doesn’t give us an invitation to now going live recklessly and not be a good steward. But it just shows us that even when we do live recklessly, and even when we’re not good stewards, God provides for us. And he wants to, if we would just believe in his goodness and rely on his grace.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.”
The first thing I want to bring out here is that in our time of need, we need to come boldly to the throne of grace. Most of us are scared to approach God in our time of need because we feel like we don’t deserve help or an audience with God. We feel like we don’t deserve the answer to our prayers, but this scripture is showing us that, hey, we can come boldly to the throne of grace.
Grace, meaning you’re going to get treated better than you deserve. That is powerful. One of the images that I have with this versus that God is waiting; the throne of grace is waiting for you; God is waiting for you to come! When are you going to come and obtain mercy and find grace to help you? When are you going to come to God? When are you going to start to draw from his grace to be able to empower you to get out of the situation that you’re in? When are you going to come to him and receive what he’s got for you and is freely offering to you? God’s waiting on you. You’re not waiting on God, okay? He has already provided for you! Ephesians 1:3 says that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Because you’re in Christ Jesus, you have already been blessed with everything that you could ever need for life and for godliness.
We have got to realize that at the throne of grace we are always getting treated better than we deserve! It says “that we may obtain mercy.” That means there’s mercy to be obtained! “That we might find grace” – there is grace to be found! But we need to come boldly! There’s a boldness with faith. A confident expectation that what God says is true. If you really believe in the goodness of God, then then you will boldly come to God and find the answer to your prayers. He’s got the answer for your business which is struggling or your finances, which are in a mess, or for your troubled relationships or for your failing health. Whatever the situation is, he’s got the answer for it and all he’s waiting for is an invitation to just get involved in your life.
You don’t have to do it alone. He wants to help you with it. Yes, things might be hard, things might be difficult and burdensome and overwhelming, but the truth of the matter is that nothing is too difficult for God! Your situation is not without hope! And so as long you’re breathing, there’s hope. So just look to God and receive from him what he wants to give you. He wants to give you the wisdom that you need. He wants to give you the power that you need. He wants to give you the provision that you need, that healing that you need. He wants to give you what you need and help you get out of the challenging circumstance and into a place where you’re living in an abundant life – and we’re not just talking about finances, but an abundant life of joy, of peace, and of satisfaction – that’s what he’s got for you! Start believing in his goodness and receive what he’s got for you.
March 20, 2019
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