Read Psalm 98
This is a Psalm exhorting us to rejoice! As we close our 40 days in Philippians, I wanted us to end with a word about JOY!!
Joy is a deep-seated sense of peace, contentment, and satisfaction in Christ alone that does not depend upon circumstances, but rests in the unchanging grace of God.
Let me break this down for you again. Joy is deep-seated. It is not surface. It is something that God produces deep in our hearts and minds that flows from His Holy Spirit to us. It involves having a sense of peace that passes understanding.
It involves a godly contentment. It involves a satisfaction that finds ultimate purpose and hope in Christ alone. Joy is not dependent upon our circumstances. Things can be very bad and we could be experiencing trials and tribulations, but in the midst of these, we can have that deep-seated joy. Joy comes in resting in the unchanging grace of God for us in Christ.
Joy starts deep in our hearts as we think about and meditate upon the goodness of God. Joy can be an internal reality, but more often than not, when you see joy being discussed in the Scriptures, it is something that must COME OUT!! It comes out in talking, or singing, or shouting, or clapping, or praising and it is usually done in corporate worship.
Notice that the Psalms say, “Make a joyful noise”, not make a joyful thought. Or think joyful thoughts. Now, obviously, we think joyful thoughts and we have joy in our hearts, but I believe joy was meant to expressed.
This Psalm gives us three primary reasons to express this joy:
First of all, we are to be joyful for what God has done. We see this in verses 1-3
The Psalmist commands us to sing to the LORD a new song for he has done marvelous things.
What marvelous things has God done in your life in the past 40 days? Can you express this joy back to Him and to others this week?
Secondly, we are to be joyful for who God is as evidenced in verses 4-6.
Literally, the Hebrew word means to “shout a war cry of victory or to give great applause to God.” Do you see the intensity of this? It’s not just thinking joyous thoughts, but it is an outward expression of joy that just can’t be kept in! You need to shout and to burst forth!
In verse 6, we find that He is the KING, the LORD! Jesus is King!
Knowing that Jesus is the sovereign ruler over all creation and the absolute monarch of the universe should bring us a great sense of peace, contentment, and satisfaction in Him alone. He is the King.
No matter what happens in our lives, Jesus still rules. It doesn’t matter who the President is, or who is in Congress or what Wall Street does or if cancer infects your body, or you have a difficult relationship, or you lost your job, or whatever else you are going through that may cause you fear or disappointment—you can rest in the wonderful arms of our Savior who is the King of kings.
But thirdly, we are to be joyful for what God WILL do in the future.
We find this in verses 7-9.
In the future, God will judge the world with righteousness and equity.
On the final day, when Jesus comes to judge the world, He will judge with absolute integrity and justice. Those who have not bowed the knee to Him in repentance and faith will face the fires of hell. Those whom He has saved by grace will be ushered into eternal life.
Knowing that your sins have been forgiven and you’ve been acquitted of all guilt and that you stand innocent before God on account of Christ should be cause for great joy. You should have joy that all the evils in this world will be dealt with fully and finally by a sovereign King who will come and rule the world in righteousness and judge the earth.
If there were not a final judgment, then the holiness of God would be a mockery. He must punish sin.
Do you have a deep-seated sense of peace, contentment, and satisfaction in Christ alone regardless of circumstances as you rest in God’s unchanging grace as you think about the Second Coming of Christ to rule and judge the earth?
As we close this 40 Days in Philippians, I want you to meditate on a few verses from Philippians that I pray will give you joy!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!!