"THE KEY TO A JOYFUL, PRODUCTIVE LIFE"
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
I suppose that we all have known Christians who go through life...Looking like
they were "weaned on a pickle"
Useless for any good work when things were going rough for them
But we have also known Christians who are the opposite... Joyful, steadfast in
Even though they are experiencing the same kind of hardships
Why the difference?
I believe that the joyful, steadfast Christian has found the secret expressed
in the Scriptures
One place this "secret" is found is in Romans 12:12...
As we consider this verse, there are several observations we can make.
THE JOYFUL LIFE IS BASED ON HOPE
MANY HAVE THE WRONG CONCEPT CONCERNING "JOY"...
That joy is a matter of personal temperament (one's heredity).
That joy is a matter of circumstances (one's environment).
But how can that be when being “joyful” is enjoined upon us all?
It is a command, a duty - 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4.
Commanded even when things are rough - 1 Peter 4:13.
TRUE JOY IS ABLE TO RISE ABOVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE...
Seen in the example of the Hebrews - Hebrews 10:34a
Also in the example of Christians in Asia Minor - 1 Peter 1:6.
THIS IS BECAUSE THE KEY TO JOY IS "HOPE"...
Notice our text: "rejoicing IN HOPE"
It should be easy to see how hope is the source of joy in our lives...
A student, in hope of enjoying summer vacation, is happy as he thinks about it.
Likewise, it was the strong hope of the Hebrews that gave them joy despite the
seizure of their property - Hebrews 10:34.
Again, the source of the Christians' joy in Asia Minor was their hope of salvation
- 1 Peter 1:5-6.
TO BE JOYFUL IN LIFE, WE MUST HAVE HOPE!
If Christians are not joyful, it is because they are not full of hope!
And that is only because their minds are so preoccupied with things of this life.
It appears that they are just religious enough to be miserable!
If they spent more time contemplating the hope we have as Christians, joy would
Of course, hope is based upon faith - Hebrews 11:1.
And faith comes from the Word of God - Romans 10:17.
But if people do not read the Word, their faith is weak, their hope is shallow,
and their joy is minimal.
If we let God's Word produce the faith necessary for a strong hope, then we too
can have that joy which will help us no matter what the circumstances.
This leads us back to our text, where we wish to make another observation...
A LIFE OF JOYFUL HOPE WILL BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATIONS
FIRST, LET'S DEFINE OUR TERMS...
Means more than simply enduring, forbearing, or putting up with something.
It also takes in the thought of activity despite the hardship, i.e. working through
It is continuing to do good, regardless of the trials.
Not just sitting there, but also refraining from doing something bad.
These could be trials suffered for the cause of Christ.
Or those common to all (sickness, death, etc.).
Paul is therefore talking about pressing on in doing good despite hardships.
THE KEY TO SUCH PATIENCE IS "JOYFUL HOPE"...
This can be illustrated in several ways...
Why does he or she endure the hardships of training?
The joyful hope of attaining victory!
Why did they endure the hardships of sailing across the ocean?
The joyful hope of finding freedom from religious oppression!
The COLLEGE STUDENT…
Why does he or she endure the hardships of study and examinations?
The joyful hope of a successful career!
The EARLY CHRISTIANS…
Why did they endure persecutions, pressing on in their faithfulness to Christ?
The joyful hope of their inheritance in heaven! - Hebrews 10:34.
Does this not explain why some Christians do not remain steadfast when things
They do not have the "joyful hope" necessary.
And why not?
Their minds are so preoccupied with worldly things!
One last observation I would like to make, based on our text...
OUR LIVES WILL BE AS HOPEFUL, JOYFUL, AND PATIENT, AS THEY ARE PRAYERFUL
"CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER" IS ESSENTIAL!
The relationship between prayer and the joyful life is implied elsewhere in the
Notice 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
If we pray without ceasing, we can rejoice always!
For in proper prayer, we are constantly reminded of our HOPE (the source of joy
In prayer, we should be made constantly aware of the REASON for our hope (forgiveness
of our sins through Jesus' blood).
In prayer, we should be made constantly aware of the OBJECT of our hope (to one
day be with God eternally).
"PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!" IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Not if we mean formal words of supplication and petition.
But prayer does not always have to be with formal words - cf. 1 Chronicles 5:20
”cried out in battle”
Prayer can also be:
A mental attitude of devotion.
An unspoken reference to God in all that we do.
Are our lives as joyful and productive as they should be?
If not, then let God's Word sink into our hearts: “Rejoicing in hope; patient
in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 12:12"
Do this, and we will more likely "rejoice in hope" and be "patient
Have You learned the key to joyful living?
By Carey Scott based on an article I read
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