Rejoice when Raining
Choosing to go on the offensive by rejoicing in the midst of hardship is the single greatest defense from the things that make us turn away from God.
TRANS - We all face difficulties, hardships, and trials.
All of you are amazing and God’s call to another ministry, while that is great, comes at a cost.
It’s not easy saying, “goodbye.”
But, just as God’s Word provided meat for us in the 10 plus years here, He provides us comfort and guidance today.
Scripture tells us how to respond to all of life’s circumstances.
Some hide, some fight, some run, some pretend they are okay, some turn to substances.
Not us, we turn to the Bible.
INTRO - I say we celebrate what God has done and is doing in our church.
If you came in with troubles, problems, down or discouraged, the good news is that Scripture provides exactly what you need.
And, that is where we are going today.
EST - Paul tells people who find it impossible to stop grumbling and complaining to “rejoice.”
ESS - Our message describes the way to back to joy.
OSS - Plan to respond by acknowledging our privilege of joyfully working together.
What does it say?
What does it say?
In addition, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a safeguard for you.
It is normal to rejoice during the good times.
But, the book of Philippians includes other reasons to praise.
When Praying is Difficult
When Praying is Difficult
When praying for others:
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Most people are too wrapped up in themselves to remember to pray for others.
Sometimes we don’t really like the “others.”
HUM- Reminds me of the fellow told to pray for his x-wife. He started to pray, “God please allow her in to Your heaven, tomorrow.”
Too often, when praying for others, it’s during a time of distress instead of praise.
Paul actually has reason to be bitter, yet chose to praise God for His Sovereignty:
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
There were those preaching with wrong motives.
With Paul in jail, others tried to take advantage of the situation for their own agenda.
Paul responded to that news by intentionally rejoicing.
We can too.
TRANS - Okay, so we honor Jesus when praying for others, especially when its difficult to do so.
What about when people really get to us?
When People are Difficult
When People are Difficult
Most people seem resentful when hurt by others; they don’t rejoice.
Ever here someone say, “He done me wrong”?
Frequently next comes the sin of telling everyone about it (gossip, or worse slander).
They get hurt, and we know hurt people hurt people, and go on to hurt themselves by sinning against God and other people.
Paul knew the spiritual immaturity of those around him, but still praised God:
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
Lots of folks have a streak of independence that makes cooperation difficult.
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
The way back to joy is working with one another.
ILL - Soon you will begin a journey to determine your best days ahead. Satan will try and divide you. I want you to determine today to stick close together and love one anther with one mind.
Change will happen, like death and taxes, one thing we count on is change.
Most rather have the life of comfort instead of choosing to suffer for Christ.
But, what does the Bible say:
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
It is common to see people looking out for themselves than to live sacrificial lives.
You might be tempted to let everyone else “take care of the church.”
However, FBC Minneola is your responsibility. A pastor tends the sheep; he is not an accountant, janitor, sounding-board, or someone to wail on when you are depressed.
Your next pastor will be your spiritual leader. Make a choice today to support him, his wife, and family; to sacrifice your time, your prayers, and all God leads you to for him.
He comes for your benefit, but not as your manservant.
The Bible speaks to this also:
I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
Instead of griping about working with others, Paul says rejoice in the work:
So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
This stuff is not natural, it is supernatural.
Joy working with one another happens when we are spirit-filled.
TRANS - So we’ve noted the need to rejoice when praying and to rejoice when working with others.
Let’s turn our attention now toward rejoicing when the world is such a mess.
When the Planet is Difficult
When the Planet is Difficult
In our text, Paul asks us to rejoice in the Lord.
But, isn’t that normal for a believer?
Is Paul doing something strange here?
Not when life looks more like a Jerry Springer show instead of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Consider some of the events from this year.
US Capital overrun
COVID exceeds 100 million
279 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria
How can we rejoice in the Lord is this depraved world?
How can we rejoice when we stand in such sewage?
All our cultural problems prove this Scripture is accurate when it teaches the depravity of man.
Society may say people are good, and left to themselves, will improve over time.
But, the Bible says that humanity is totally depraved and so does our life experience.
The Psalmist says:
Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.
We read in Proverbs:
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
The wisdom of Ecclesiastes says:
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Anyone ever have to teach a child how to disobey or do wrong?
Of course not; its already built in to all of us.
Sometimes it’s not society, but our own problems that break our heart.
When comes personal crisis, it can be difficult to praise the Lord.
Financial problems make it difficult.
Children make bad choices, and that makes it hard.
And your pastor called to another ministry is never an easy pill to take.
It’s natural to become discouraged, but Paul says “rejoice!”
So does James:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Many say “Give me a break” when hearing this verse.
Does James really think trials are joyful?
Well, that is what he wrote.
He didn’t say, “Consider yourself lucky, or don’t trials make you happy?”
He wrote, “Consider it all joy.”
There is a difference.
Joy is calmness that we experience in the storm.
Joy is a delight that still our heart and anchors the soul.
Why can you have “calm delight” when trials come?
Ultimately we rejoice because we know that Christ is our great conqueror.
You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed.
Our reason for praise is ultimate, but it is also immediate.
We rejoice because Jesus is our shelter and deliverer.
That is why the Psalmist David cried out:
Then I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be glad because he rescues me.
Also in the Psalms:
Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!
That is why barren Hannah could pray:
Hannah prayed: My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is lifted up by the Lord. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.
It is why Isaiah could pronounce:
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
By His grace, Paul declares that Christ has elevated us to the heavenly places:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Paul writes, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord!”
Easy for him to say, right?
When he wrote the book, the Apostle Paul sat under house arrest.
His chains restricted his public ministry.
Yes, our feet are in the world, with all its problems and depravity, but:
Our spirit soars into the heavenly places when we Praise the Lord!
Jesus sent His disciples out to witness.
They came back.
They were so thrilled.
They said, “Jesus, even the demons were subject to us in Your name.”
And Jesus said, “Don’t rejoice in this. Rejoice that your name is written in heaven.”
Is yours written in heaven?
I want us to take a moment today to simply think about what we’ve heard.
God speaks to us through His Word and we’ve heard Him clearly this morning.
Please join me as we pray.
God, our journey is taking us to the unknown. Our church rejoices knowing You have everything under control. We accept our responsibilty to do our part. Please help us seek out that part. We acknowledge that you have a plan and that you ask us to do our part in Your plan.
We don’t want to be like the church in Sardis that appeared to be a church, but the people did nothing. Help us do our part so you will strengthen us and the church not die. Your word to the church in Sardis encourages us as we are a small group, but your power to do great things for those who turn to You is our trust.
Here us in this and we rejoice in what You will do. -Amen
In the next few weeks you must choose a strategy for moving forward. Move on this and do not take too much time.
My prayer is for God is to now grow this church. You are in your best position to grow than ever in her history. The growth rate in Minneola is at its highest. The property is presentable. You have the space, the knowledge assimilation, and by every measure great big hearts for newcomers.
Get those visitor bags ready and expect a surge.
Get your search team together and expect God’s man perfect for you and this season at FBC Minneola.