Train to Live on Mission – Week 23

Battle Drill #23:

Rejoice and Be Glad!

Proverbs 15:13-16 (NAS95)

FBC’s Worship in the Park at Memorial Park
Today, we are going to walk through the four action steps of a soldier’s training routine to learn the next battle drill – “Rejoice and Be Glad!”
 
There is great joy to be had through a relationship with Jesus Christ! This is not only the joy of our eternal salvation, secured through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but this is the work of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of God’s presence in and though our lives that gives us a joy that will empower us through the mountain tops and valleys of our emotions and life experiences. Nehemiah 8:10 commands and promises, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” We are going to learn today how to rejoice and be glad in all our circumstances, not as your response to the circumstances, but as your heart posture in all circumstances. Let’s take the first action step of a soldier’s training routine to live on mission.
 

Action Step #1) Know the Field Manual.

The battle drill we are going to learn and apply this week is from Proverbs 15:13-16:
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and turmoil with it.
This is what the Field Manual says, let’s now take the second action step to learn how to apply today’s battle drill to our everyday lives as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
 

Action Step #2) Train together as one unit.

My favorite song to start off the day is from Psalm 118:24,
 
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
 
This verse both reminds me and exhorts me to live according to what is true. One of the greatest ways to train this battle drill is through singing, so let us sing together this wonderfully simple, yet powerful hymn from Psalm 118:
 
This is the day (this is the day).
That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made).
We will rejoice (we will rejoice),
And be glad in it (and be glad in it).
This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day (this is the day)
That the Lord has made.
 
In Ephesians 5:17-21, Paul teaches that people who are filled with the Spirit are to gather as a community of believers, to speak the truths of God to one another through songs:
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
 
Music is meant to teach, inspire, and encourage us in our Christian lives; to spur us on to Christlikeness and faithful living on mission for God. In Colossians 3:15-17, Paul further explains how our singing is an admonishment to one another:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
These Scriptures take us into the third action step of a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Action Step #3) Seek the Commander’s approval.

Rejoicing is a choice that we each must make moment by moment because of our faith, not in consideration of our circumstances! Dare I say that this battle drill is an act of obedience to what we know is true and it’s for our good – it’s to strengthen us for the mission and to shine God’s light in dark places! It’s an act of defiance against the evil and injustices in the world, declaring that this is not the way it is supposed to be!
 
Paul commands us in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” This decision, whether you rejoice and be glad in your circumstances has significant implications on your emotional stability, mental health, and spiritual vitality. We see that in today’s Proverb:
  • Emotional stability according to Proverbs 15:13, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”
  • Mental health according to Proverbs 15:14, “The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly.”
  • Spiritual vitality according to Proverbs 15:15-16, “All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and turmoil with it.”

 

It’s about faith in your Commander, not about your feelings (emotional), perspectives (mental), or interpretations (spiritual) of your circumstances. Joy is about trust in God and His promises! Let’s walk you through five Scriptures to demonstrate this spiritual fruit from God:

  1. Psalm 16:11. “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
  2. John 17:13. “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.”
  3. Romans 15:13. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
  4. Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
  5. 1 Peter 1:3-9. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”

 

When you train yourself to rejoice and be glad as your way of life, and not simply as a response to your circumstances, as the good fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in you, at all times and in all circumstance, then it brings you to the final action step of living your life as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Action Step #4) Live on mission.

The battle drill of “rejoice and be glad” becomes the foundation on which we can be resilient when knocked down so that we can bounce forward and persevere to the end.
 
When joy is the deep bedrock of our souls we can experience the human realities of anger, grief, and sadness without being displaced from the rock of God’s joy into the shifting sands of human emotions. You can experience the hardships and injustices of real life, and respond authentically as a child of God, and authoritatively as a soldier of Jesus, without the forsaking of the joy of the Lord because you are secure in the Father’s love and sovereign grace.
 
We live on mission by reflecting the heart of Jesus Christ in how we live our lives and in how we conduct our business. This is our calling as image bearers of God. After exhorting us to have the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:5, Paul gives us a way forward to fulfill the mission of God, which includes today’s battle drill in Philippians 2:12-18:
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
 
Regardless of the cost of his sacrificial service for Christ, Paul rejoiced and shared the joy of God’s salvation with others so that they, too, would be able to rejoice in God’s salvation as they lived on mission. Paul was following the example set for him, and us, by Jesus Christ at the Cross, as described in Hebrews 12:2-3:
 
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
 
We are to follow His example and to do the same today. Make this battle drill a reflexive, instinctive, and habitual part of your Christian life so that you can CM – Continue the Mission! Therefore, live on mission today and train the battle drill of the week for the glory of God. Let us pray.
 
 

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