The Christian’s Disposition – Part 1

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 shares three characteristics we are told that God desires of those who follow Christ…of Christians.

We are going to look at each in turn over the next couple of days.

Verse 16 says, “Rejoice always” or “always be joyful”.

What does this mean?

Well, let us start with a definition of joy.

A search of the internet will report joy meaning a feeling of great pleasure or happiness.

And to a certain extent, I agree.

Happiness, I have found however, can be fleeting. Depending on what is going on in my life, I may feel happy this minute and unhappy the next.

Joy, I believe, is spiritual. It is not linked to my emotions. Instead it is directly linked to my relationship with God.

Let me explain.

The sense of deep-seated peace that comes from knowing that the great God of the universe looked down through time and saw that I would need a Saviour and loved me enough to send His only son to die…that feeling of being loved beyond understanding…that, for me friends, is joy.

Yes, it makes me happy. But it is much deeper than that.

It is a spiritual joy.

So even on a bad day, I can be joyful.

Sounds crazy?

It isn’t!

Despite the diagnosis, the divorce, the unemployment, the betrayal of friends, regardless of my trying circumstances, I can be joyful.

How?

Because I know I’m not alone. (Isaiah 43:2)

Because God loves me. (John 3:16)

Because God said He would never leave me. (Hebrews 13:5)

Because God said He would provide all of my needs. (Philippians 4:19)

Friends, the only way to experience true joy is to make the gospel personal.

When you read the scripture, insert your name.

Yes, Christ died to save the people of world, but not as a group – as individuals.

So I may feel down or despondent, but that feeling shouldn’t last too long.

Why?

Because I have joy. The kind that comes from knowing Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong.

Being joyful doesn’t come naturally.

But we can ask God to give us that sense of contentment, that sense of peace that only He can give. (John 14:27)

We can ask Him to give us joy, and we are assured, “…No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalms 84:11 NRSV

If You Want Joy (1939) – Joseph D. Carlson

If you want joy, real joy,
Wonderful joy,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If you want joy, real joy,
Wonderful joy,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

Your sins he’ll wash away,
Your night he’ll turn today,
Your life he’ll make it over anew.

If you want joy, real joy,
Wonderful joy,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

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