It is pretty common for those who take the risk of embracing Jesus’ mission to experience disappointment, difficulty and discouragement. Often we set out with plans and hopes of how things will go but very quickly run into challenges, and surprises that change our direction and the final outcomes. If we aren’t careful it takes the joy right out of our walk with Christ and for some causes us to question whether we should have stepped on the field to begin with.
Last weekend’s lesson developed four keys to experiencing joy in our service to Jesus no matter the obstacles or outcomes. Here are the main points:
1. Let Jesus Develop Your Heart for Others. Phil 2:19-20 & 25-26
Phil 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare…
1Thes 4:9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 1Tim 1:5
It is natural to care about ourselves, but faithful servants care about those their master cares about. Everyone has someone they care about. Jesus noted that even wicked people love their own. That is not notable. Showing love for those outside you immediately family, those more challenging to love… that is Christian. I’m not just talking about being nice, polished and sterile, but heart deep genuine concern for others.
2. Embrace Jesus’ Mission Above Your Own Interests.
Phil 2:21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
It is natural to focus on our own dreams, but missional believers embrace Jesus’ mission as their own. Jesus was interested in connecting with lost people and developing his disciples. He was interested in healing the broken and providing ultimate salvation and life to all who would accept it. In Christ we find something greater than our dreams. Eternal life, true peace, real forgiveness, power to change, and an incredible cause to live for. To find real joy embrace His purpose.
3. Depend on Jesus for Strength to Persevere.
2Cor. 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Our world makes many believers feel like quitting. This is more common when we forget to rely on His strengthen instead of our own. Than every challenge is that much harder and our plans get changed or even blow up. Then we blow up. It doesn’t have to be this way. Faithful servants persevere because they trust in His strength.
4. Show Respect to Fellow Servants.
Phil. 2:29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
It is natural to desire honor for ourselves and resent others who receive it instead. this steals the joy of our service. It also makes s judge others who do not meet our standards. When we do that we forget that we are servants and not THE MASTER. He is the one who decides the effectiveness and faithfulness of all his servants. We are to serve joyfully and respect each other especially in the differences.
If you want more on this check out the full message on our website: parkviewfamily.org.