Moment of Transformation:
AN ATMOSPHERE OF HOPEFULNESS AND CHEER
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NKJV
To the Christian is granted the joy of gathering rays of eternal light from the throne of glory, and of reflecting these rays not only on his own path, but on the paths of those with whom he associates. By speaking words of hope and encouragement, of grateful praise and kindly cheer, he may strive to make those around him better, to elevate them, to point them to heaven and glory, and to lead them to seek, above all earthly things, the eternal substance, the immortal inheritance, the riches that are imperishable.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway,” says the apostle; “and again I say, Rejoice.” Wherever we go, we should carry an atmosphere of Christian hopefulness and cheer; then those who are out of Christ will see attractiveness in the religion we profess; unbelievers will see the consistency of our faith. We need to have more distinct glimpses of heaven, the land where all is brightness and joy. We need to know more of the fullness of the blessed hope. If we are constantly “rejoicing in hope,” we shall be able to speak words of encouragement to those whom we meet. “A word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Souls are perishing for the lack of personal labor.
Not alone in daily association with believers and unbelievers are we to glorify God by speaking often one to another in words of gratitude and rejoicing. As Christians, we are exhorted not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, for our own refreshing, and to impart the consolation we have received. In these meetings, held from week to week, we should dwell upon God’s goodness and manifold mercies, upon His power to save from sin. In features, in temper, in words, in character, we are to witness that the service of God is good. Thus we proclaim that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”
Our prayer and social meetings should be seasons of special help and encouragement. Each one has a work to do to make these gatherings as interesting and profitable as possible. This can best be done by having a fresh experience daily in the things of God, and by not hesitating to speak of His love in the assemblies of His people. If you allow no darkness or unbelief to enter your hearts, they will not be manifest in your meetings.
By the mystery and glory of the cross we can estimate the value of man, and then we shall see and feel the importance of working for our fellow men, that they may be exalted to the throne of God.
Ellen G. White, Lift Him Up, August 18, p. 244
Quote of the Day “Joy is the occupation, character, and realization of Heaven. It is not dependent on circumstances but on the love of a sovereign God.” R. Kent Hughes
Did You Know?
Jesus prays that the disciples will be joyful in spite of His departure (John 17:13).
Despite the formidable foes which will confront them, the disciple community can experience the very joy of Christ, and Jesus prays that they will. It is surely remarkable that he can refer to his own ‘joy’ when he knows that the most appalling suffering is about to engulf him. Nor is it a passing or spasmodic joy to which he refers. It is the full measure of his joy (13). Neither the hostility from without nor the apostasy from within has quenched the joy of Jesus, nor need it do so in the case of the disciples.
Joy is a mark of the kingdom in Old Testament prophecy (cf. Is 35:1; 55:11–12). In contrast to the time of John the Baptist, the time of Jesus was a time for celebration (Mk. 2:19). True, the bridegroom would be taken away, but only for a ‘little while’ (16:16). He will soon be back with them and the brief pains of childbirth will give place to the joy of the kingdom in their midst.
Bruce Milne, The Message of John: Here Is Your King!: With Study Guide, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 245–246.
How prayer can help you to live out a hopefulness and cheer life?
This Week’s Homework