“These things have I spoken unto you,that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). Christians, more than any other people in the world, have plenty of reasons to rejoice. Don’t think so? Consider the words of the apostle Paul from Romans 5:1-5: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
First, Christians can rejoice because we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1). When we are justified we are made right, or righteous, before God. God justified us in response to our faith. Not faith alone, for that is a dead faith, unable to save anyone (James 2:17). We are justified as a result of our active, obedient faith.
Second, Christians can rejoice because we have peace with God (Romans 5:1). We have a harmonious relationship with God. When a person becomes a Christian, the discord, strife and contention that previously existed between man and God are gone.
Third, Christians can rejoice because we have access to God’s grace (Romans 5:2). Grace is that unmerited favor without which no man can be saved (Ephesians 2:8). Our faith is the path that leads us to the presence of God’s grace.
Fourth, Christians can rejoice because we have hope (Romans 5:2). Our hope of heaven is desire (wanting to go to heaven and be with God) coupled with expectation (we expect to go to heaven, not because we can ever earn heaven, but because of God’s abundant grace – Romans 5:20). It is a hope that does not cause shame or disappointment (Romans 5:5).
Fifth, Christians can rejoice even in the midst of our trials (Romans 5:3). Christians are not immune from many of the heartaches and disappointments of life. Yet we can rejoice throughout these trials because they produce character, perseverance, and hope (James 1:2-4).
Smile, you’re a Christian!