The Weight of Joy in the Weight of Suffering

So the recording of this message didn't really capture...every word...haha

This post will help to communicate some of the missing pieces as well as remind you of a few things that, I hope, will encourage you and remind you to rejoice.

Text: 1 Peter 1:3-12

Thesis: Joy is a natural response to faith in the person and work of God.

1. Our joy must be rooted in hope built on the character of and work of God. (3-5)

Six reasons to rejoice:

A. Rejoice because of the character of God. (3)
...according to his great mercy...

B. Rejoice because of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. (3)
...he has caused us to be born again...

C.Rejoice because of the hope that has come alive in you. (3) a living hope...

Note two things about this hope: it is a confident hope (look at the "inheritance" in verse 4;) it is a living hope.

D. Rejoice because your hope is made sure in the resurrection of Christ. (3)
...through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...

If Jesus is still dead, we have NO hope, and our faith, preaching, ministry, LIVES are in vain. But
"Jesus is alive, and that changes everything!"
"Hope is a living hope because Jesus is a living Savior."

E. Rejoice because you have guaranteed for you, and eternal inheritance. (4) an inheritance...

F. Rejoice because God is actively saving you, preserving your hope and strengthening your faith. (5), who by God's power, are being guarded through faith for a salvation...
i. God caused us to be born again. We "were saved." Regeneration. Past.
ii. By God's power we, "are being saved." Sanctification. Present.
iii. We will be saved in our future salvation. Glorification. Future.

2. Joy that is rooted in hope built on the character and work of God will triumph in suffering, making Christ appear sweeter and more glorious when He is revealed.

A few points of clarification:

i. Joy is a pattern/outlook on life that is not based in circumstances.
ii. Happiness is a state of mind, that, at its core, is rooted in circumstances.
iii. Sovereign grace is the sovereign choice and work of God to save who He wishes to save. This is the root of joy.
iv. Common grace is the everyday enjoyment of God's creation and blessing on mankind. This is the root of happiness.
v. Suffering is the retraction of common graces. Thus it is possible to be unhappy, while joyful. And conversely, it is possible to be not joyful, while happy.
vi. If I am truly a joyful person, reveling in the character and work of God in sovereign grace, then I ought to be a happy person as well. All of my "happy" experiences of common grace should turn my gaze to the Giver and gift of sovereign grace, the source of my joy.

Three things about the nature of suffering:

A. Suffering will come. (6)
...though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials...

An elect exile is still an exile!

B. Suffering sharpens and strengthens faith. (7) that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire...

"Suffering is appointed by God for his saints for this purpose: so that as we persever in joy in God through suffering, He is shown to be more valuable than what we are losing as we suffer." John Piper

C. Suffering makes Christ taste sweeter and appear more glorious. (7-9)
...may be found to result in praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Christ...

Verse 8: You don't see him, but you love him. Affection and faith are equated. If my faith is amplified, naturally, my affections are also amplified, and my joy is inexpressible. Faith is amplified through suffering (7) thus my affection for Christ is also amplified.

Lessons on suffering and joy from the life of David Brainerd:
Oh, That I May Never Loiter On My Heavenly Journey! by John Piper
The Life of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards

3. The root of our joy-the work and character of God in salvation-is so glorious, that the prophets and angels long to have a part (10-12.)

A. The prophets gloried and rejoiced and treasured salvation, though they were spectators.
B. The angels glory and rejoice and treasure salvation, though they are spectators.
C. We must rejoice because we are partakers! We are beneficiaries! We are not spectators.


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