Joy no matter what!
by Jana Cox
This last Sunday Pastor Doug preached a message from the book of Philippians called “Partnership of Grace.” It is from the series, “Joy No Matter What”. Some of us may think how can I have joy in the situations and problems that I am experiencing? The problems I am facing seem insurmountable. But the important thing to remember is that our problems are no match for God. God is bigger than our problems, and He has the answers and directions for all that we are facing.
He also encouraged us that we can walk out of the hard places of our lives. Just like a snake goes through hard places, through the rocks to shed off its old skin, we also can go through difficult places and shed off the things that have been weighing us down. The Apostle Paul encourages us that it is through God’s grace, that we have the power to do things that we cannot do on our own. God’s grace enables and empowers us. We will have struggles, we will face difficulties, but with God’s help, we will get through them as we rely on God and His strength.
Another important point that we were taught is in Philippians 1:9, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” The days in which we are living are filled with all kinds of problems, concerns, and confusion. One of the most important things we can do is walk and live in the God kind of love to overcome these issues. A love that is pure and honest will help us with this. The society that we are living in pressures us to conform to its way of thinking and encourages us to have blind love and ignore the truth and the things that are going on around us.
It is vital for the Christian to operate in love, knowledge, and discernment. If we love and care for others we will speak the truth into their lives. We will allow discernment to work in our lives. Discernment is the ability to judge something well or the ability to understand and comprehend something. As Christians, we are responsible to speak God’s truth in love to those who are being led astray or confused. If we discern error in the lives of those we care for and don’t inform them we are actually agreeing with them. We are condoning their ways. Jesus never did that.
Jesus confronted sin. John chapter 11 tells the story of a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus spoke into this woman’s life. He did not condemn her, but He did tell her, go and sin no more. The heart of love in Jesus gave this woman directions so that she could live a new life. He did not want her to stay in her sin and bondage. This should be the heart that we have for those that are bound in sin and confusion. When we discern that others’ lifestyles are against the word of God we should lovingly and boldly lead them to the truth found in God’s word. This week I encourage you to be the influence that our world needs. Speak the truth in love and allow God’s Spirit of grace empower you and discernment from His word guide you.