26-The Disciple Joy and Grateful

Day 26: The Disciple, Joyful and Grateful!

An Intimate Walk with Jesus – A 30 Day Quiet Time Series
Text: I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Assignment: What is the most challenging trial you face in your life?

Lesson to Learn: A Christian can be a light to the world because of the joy and gratitude he has.

To be joyful in all circumstances is a challenge. We are emotional beings and therefore it sometimes seems impossible to control our joy level. Often, our joy seems determined by the circumstances in our life. If we view those circumstances as positive, then we feel we can be happy. If we view them as negative or difficult, then we could be depressed or sad. True joy and gratitude should not be dependent on the conditions in our life. To be a light to our world, the disciple must learn the secret of being content in any and every situation. The result of that peace will be that we will be joyful and grateful. To maintain this attitude is to be in sharp contrast to the world that we live in. Then God will be glorified by our lives! In this lesson, we will examine the spiritual qualities of joy and gratitude, and then make application to our own lives.

1. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Be joyful always! What a challenging command to obey. Joy is an emotion and emotions are very hard to control. Did God make a mistake in giving us this command? Is this beyond the realm of possibility? God would never command us to do something that was impossible for us to obey. Jesus commands us to not let our hearts be troubled, (John 14:1). It was obvious to Him that this was possible. It involves our understanding of what should make us happy and grateful. To be joyful always does not mean always laughing, but to be filled with an inner peace. It means to be grateful in spite of circumstances that surround you. To be joyful always means to be filled with faith and confidence that God is working in your life in all circumstances, (Romans 8:28). Are you joyful always? Are you filled with gratitude in spite of difficult trials in your life? Is your conviction the same as Habakkuk’s conviction in Habakkuk 3:17-18?

2. Luke 10:20 — Jesus commanded His disciples to rejoice because their names were written in heaven. When you want joy to come from your job or social life, you will, at some point, be disappointed. Joy must radiate from your relationship with God. Then, that joy and gratitude will touch all other areas of your life. Are you still grateful for your salvation? When did you last thank God for your home in Heaven?

3. Philippians 4:4 — Rejoicing is much easier when it is in the Lord. That means our joy is found in God and in Godly things. Often, our sadness comes from things that are not godly or are not God’s plan for us. This is what James tells us in James 4:1-3. Do you rejoice in the Lord? Do you love Godly things more than worldly things?

4. Acts 5:41-42 — The disciples are rejoicing after they are beaten. How is that possible? They were rejoicing in the Lord and their focus was on Heaven. They were excited to be able to share in the sufferings of Christ. They saw their lives as an opportunity to bring glory to God. Do you have this depth of commitment to God? Do you see very discouraging situations that arise in your life as an opportunity to glorify God?

Joy and gratitude are possible always. They are emotions that can be controlled. Jesus was a joyful, grateful man and so must we be. If we focus on Heaven, we can face any trial. Stephen was able to die as he preached the gospel by keeping his eyes fixed on heaven (cf. Acts 7:54-60). With this joy and gratitude in your heart, you will become a light that brings glory to your Father!

During these stressful times, we want to offer our prayers and encouragement to any who are interested. Our leaders are available to help, please let us know by emailing info@nulllicoc.org.