Those jarring hits in the NFL make players and fans flinch. When two defensive players hit a receiver at the same time – ouch! Injuries cause some to question the joy of playing and watching football. The 2015 movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith has increased this spotlight.
Life can produce a double-hit as well. It can hit you with anger from an argument with friend or co-worker and at the same time life can drill you with anxiety from overwhelming circumstances.
This is the scenario in Philippians 4. In between these two painful joy-stealers, anger and angst, the apostle Paul says an amazing thing: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:4-5
When a double-whammy sucks the joy out of you, adopt three essential attitudes in order to experience joy.
First, be Glad God Gave you Grace. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” The words “rejoice” and “grace” share the same root word. When you put your faith in Christ for salvation, God gives you His grace. Regardless of life’s circumstances, you can rejoice in God’s forgiveness of sin provided by His grace. Be glad in it.
Second, Relax your Reasons & Rights and be Reasonable. “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” The word for “reasonableness” has no English equivalent, so it is translated gentle, considerate, thoughtful, moderate, and gracious. It means to relax strict standards in order to keep the spirit of the standards. Instead of wringing out your reasons for self-justification or demanding your rights, be reasonable. Joy results if you carry a cross instead of a grudge.
Third, Don’t Sneer, Jesus is Here & Near. “The Lord is at hand.” Don’t sneer “What’s the use?” or “Why try?” Act and think according to Jesus’ promise to never leave you or forsake you. He is always “here.” Christ’s love and power is always available to help you. Also His second coming is “near.” He is coming again soon, so don’t be caught carrying worries and grudges when He comes.
An Aramaic exclamation of calling out to God is “Maranatha!” It means, “Our Lord, come!”
Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, I will continue the series, “How to In-Joy Life: Simple, but Difficult Steps.” Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching, and service.