SUNDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2017
The letter to Philippians was written by apostle Paul from inside the jail Phil.1:7,13-14. Even though this letter was made fresh from the prison, amazingly we can sense and find plenty of joyful expressions! That’s why we can call the letter to Philippians as the letter of real joy! As a Christian, we are meant to have a real joy, so our presence can always be a blessing toward others. In fact, it is not always easy to always joyful in every single moment of our life. But knowing that God already called us to have that piece of heavenly joy, we need to learn and exercise our spirit, so we are always able not only to have that joy but also share that joy and spread it to anyone we may see in our life! As believers, we must learn and push ourselves in this most important journey in our life: the journey to real joy!
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NKJV
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 NKJV
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17NKJV
CALLED TO JOY
Back to about 6000 years ago when God created Adam and Eve, we can see how God created everything in a very good condition. How joyful they were in the Eden! God created human just like in His own image, so they must be very proud being the representative of God in this world. God had also provided everything and blessed them to be multiplied and to rule over everything. Fast forward, all that joyful suddenly disappear when Adam and Eve fell into their first sin. Sin always make everything ruined Ecc.9:18! Sins make people have a very heavy yoke upon their shoulder Lam.1:14.
But the good news is, Jesus, through His work of salvation, called us and even revived us again so we can get that joy again! Gospel is about good news, so people can get back the joy that God already prepared for us! In the letter to Philippians, the first thing that brought apostle Paul to joy was about the salvation which they already received through gospel!
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:3-6 NKJV
The fellowship of Philippians in the gospel is really a big joy, not only for themselves but also for Paul! Our fellowship with gospel from the very beginning we decide to follow Jesus will bring a very big impact at inside, toward our lives, and also outside, toward others. The journey to the real joy must be started with the first page which mentions Jesus as the author of eternal salvation Heb.5:9!
David wrote in his psalm: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered Ps.32:1.” No matter how big is someone already sin before God, as long as they come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness, His love is more than enough to cover any sin 1Pet.4.8. How happy will they knowing that all of their transgression is forgiven, knowing that the penalty of death Rom.6:23 already paid by the blood of Jesus.
FORGIVEN AND FORGIVING
The first reason why we can start our journey of real joy is because we already forgiven! That is the important word and secret of real heavenly joy. Whenever we try to suspend the forgiveness and decide to keep being angry to others, it will make our joy leaks and drains out as well! The same quality of joy when we receive the work of salvation through Jesus actually could be repeated and repeated again even echoing in our life each time we grant forgiveness toward others! When Jesus commanded us to forgive 70 times 7, actually that is the secret number of joy!
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV
Sometimes our joy can be troubled with those who sin against us. And we need to fully aware that sins are very infectious disease. It can be started from our brother who sins against us, and then the sin also able to make us sin against God as well whenever we decide not to forgive them! Jesus told us about the parable of the unforgiving servant Mat18:23-35, who first had a very big and tremendous joy because the king released him and just forgot his 10.000 talents. But sadly, this servant became very troubled with his friend who only owed him 100 denarii, what a very small amount compared to 10.000 talents, but this little number of problem already affected his joy very much and finally he lost everything because he chose not to forgive his friend!
We can learn how our joy could be easily affected with the situation and condition surround us, with our friends who we always meet every single day, even with our family member, relatives, colleagues, and also neighbours. It will be very difficult to change how people must treat us as what we like, but what we can do is we need to forgive them, so the joy of heaven could remain in our heart even reign in our lives!
BEING CONFIDENT IN GOD’S PROTECTION
The second reason of joy that Paul wanted us to know as believers is about God’s mighty power to protect us and lead us in His ways, so He can bring us into completion of His calling toward us Phil.1:6! Sometimes people may think that others may take lot of advantage from us because we like to forgive, moreover when people know us as those who easily forgive others! In spite of all that scenario, the Bible told us that we do not need be afraid because of that, even we must have confidence that the power of the gospel (the power of being forgiven and always forgiving) is more than able to protect us until the end. Paul wrote: He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
As believers we should always joyful because God has a divine plan for each of us and He is able to complete it, no matter how much obstacle we may find in our pathway. Through God we can do anything Phil.4:13 because He who live in us is greater than anything in this world 1John.4:4. We must put our trust in God alone who able to change all evil plan to good plan in our life just like what happen with Joseph when all his brothers tried to bring harm upon his life.
20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:20-21 NKJV
Let’s start the journey of real joy! Whenever we find anything trouble and disturb us during this week, let’s count it as a challenge and transform it into joy by forgiving that person. As a redeemed people, we need to revive the joy of that salvation and let people surround us know that there is something really different within us. We just can simply say that we already get 1 million dollars from God and we are not going to be troubled only with 1 dollar of problem other may disturb us! And let’s believe more that God is able to protect us, He who already start to author our eternal salvation, the same God also able to bring us into perfection of His divine calling! AMEN.