Friday, July 13, 2018
Romans 5:2 …we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
I want to assure you that we are still studying the book of Philippians, and the reason we are is to discover the splendor of learning how to overflow with joy. For the next few days, based on Romans 5:1-11, I would like to really dive into what it means to rejoice in the Lord. We are about to discover three truths:
- We rejoice in the Hope of the Glory of God, not in this world and what it offers.
- We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that they develop Christ’s character within us.
- We rejoice in our relationship with Christ.
Let’s look at number one today. If we are going to be able to rejoice in the Lord, the first thing we must do is take our eyes off our immediate needs and focus our eyes on the future glory of God that has been promised to us.
In the book of Revelation, God’s great plan for the revealing of His eternal glory is described. On three separate occasions there is rejoicing as the plan is unveiled. Here they are:
- In Revelation 12, Satan is cast out of heaven after a war with Michael the archangel of God. Then a loud voice is heard from heaven saying, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! There is rejoicing in the glory of God revealed in the salvation of Jesus Christ, His power and authority over sin, and the coming kingdom of God on the earth. There is also rejoicing because the true followers of Jesus overcome Satan in their lives and are willing to go to death to stand for Christ, loving Him more than their own lives.
- In Revelation 18, as a part of God’s judgment of sin on the earth, the world’s political, economic and religious system is destroyed. When it is, those who had been deceived by false hope of what the world’s system offered will stand and say, “Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you!” As God’s glory is revealed, the importance of the world’s system is destroyed. As we live in the hope of God’s glory we become less dependent upon what the world offers by way of emotional, economic, or spiritual fulfillment.
- In Revelation 19, after sin has been judged and destroyed, it is time for the union of Jesus Christ with His bride the church for all eternity. Now we hear a multitude of voices shouting, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” All of heaven rejoices because we have been found faithful and been kept pure, so that we can be united with Christ forever. God’s glory is revealed in the completion of the work He began in us when He saved us. He completes that work when He presents us to His Son as His bride, and we fully and eternally submit to His authority in all things. Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!
My friends, how can we resist rejoicing when we know what the future holds? There is only one possible reason we resist – our hope is fixed on this world and not on God’s glory. The challenge today is to live according to the words of this old hymn:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.