Last week we noted that the thought of salvation offers hope to the believer. It also causes the non-believer to search for confidence and assurance in their eternal destiny. Do you really have the hope of salvation? Have you struggled with doubt? Do you have abounding joy? What is really missing in your life? My goal over the next few weeks is to encourage you to seek salvation that brings the hope, joy, security and assurance that you seek.
Our world overflows with sorrow. Just look around you and you will see neglect, abuse, violence, terrorism, etc. In homes, places of business, schools, and throughout every community you can sense that something is terribly wrong. There is misery, pain, and tears. We see broken lives, broken hearts, and broken homes are in evidence in every city. Is there any hope for mankind? Does anyone have a workable solution to this mounting problem of human suffering? Yes, there is an answer. Salvation is at hand and with it comes joy unspeakable!
Christians should be the happiest people on the planet. But we’ve got a lot of church goers that look like they’ve been weaned on a pickle. They are sour faced, contentious, negativists that have their heads in the mud. When did we get so hard up for leadership that we started letting finger pointers, whistle blowers, hypocrites, and squeaky wheels run the church? Is that the picture we have of Jesus? Or of the early church? We need leaders that are full of joy!
We can become our own worst enemy. We forget that Satan is our real enemy and start fighting amongst ourselves. We lose sight of the fact that we have treasures in heaven and that we are only strangers in this world anyway. I am only an ambassador in this country with a temporary work visa. I don’t have time to deal with love busters, grace robbers, faith stealers, and joy snatchers... because I’ve got work to do!
We must rediscover the joy and spirit of the first century church. One way to start is to put down the latest brotherhood publications, set aside the newest books and tracts that reflect the opinions of men, and pick up (and in some cases dust off) the Bible... and then read it. This book has inspired nations and moved multitudes and yet few Christians read it cover to cover, or attempt to replicate its message in their lives. How can you read this book and not be changed? How could someone glaze over the stories of the providence of God, the revival and restoration of God’s people, Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, or the good works of the early church?
If you are saved, and have the hope of salvation, you should be full of joy. Psalm 35:9 says, "And my soul will be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 35:10 says, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Romans 14:17 says, "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 says, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit." Galatians 5:22 says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..."
This is a spiritual joy - the Joy of Salvation! It is a product of heaven. It cannot be bought, manufactured, inherited, or stolen. Joy is a gift from God. It is the fruit of His Holy Spirit. The reality is that salvation will bring joy unspeakable to the believer! Do you have that joy? It’s a joy only God can provide. You need it.
Let's get joy. Let's share joy. Have a great week!!!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds