Joyful About the Past

(Ps. 126:1-3; Pas. Baines, Jr. 1/2019)

Introduction: All of us see some good and bad in our past. What we focus on influences how we feel. This discussion centers on how, “We should be joyful about what the Lord has already done.”

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Key Points:

1. God has saved the souls of believers. Notice vs. 3 mentions that the Lord has done great things for us. One of the great things that God has done for us (who are saved) is He saved our souls. Romans 3:10 teaches that we all failed the test of righteousness. But through faith in Christ, we are saved.

We should make sure that we are basing our salvation on asking and trusting God to save us because Jesus died and paid for our sins, instead of any good works of our own. Let’s make sure we are saved and are helping others to get saved. We can invite and try to bring people with us to worship and study periods, so they can get saved and grow with us.  

2. God has met all of our needs and supplied many of our wants. Notice vs. 3 mentions that the Lord has done great things for us. First, a great thing that God has done for us is He has supplied all of our needs.

When wants are not met, we may have some emotional pain. But when needs are not met, we die. Think about how God has supplied all of the food, clothing, shelter, and even companionship that we needed.

Second, another great thing that God has done for us is He has supplied some of our wants. Think about the extra cloths, food, and luxuries that God has supplied. Let’s live like we are thankful for what God has done. This kind of living should include joy and obedience.   

3. God has given saved people hope. Notice vs. 3 mentions that the Lord has done great things for us. A great thing that God has done for us (i.e., saved people) is He has given us hope. No matter how bad things look, saved people can remember that God is still working things out for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28).

Think about how politics, money, current events, relationships, and even health doesn’t have to steal the hope of disciples. We believe that the God who took care of Noah (w/rain), the Hebrew boys (w/fire), and Jesus (w/Calvary) is able and willing to take care of us today. Let’s live like we have hope. This includes trusting and obeying God, even when things look so hopelessly dark.  

4. Be joyful. Notice that vs. 3 of our text talks about being full of joy. Are you a joyful Christian? Do you normally feel positive and demonstrate a positive attitude? Passages like Galatians 5:2223a; Nehemiah 8:10 teaches that believers should have some empowering joy.

The enemy wants us to focus on negativity and feel negative. You are responsible for what you focus on (see Pro. 23:7; Pro. 4:23; Col. 3:2). Make up your mind to be joyful, by focusing on how despite all that you have been through, the Lord has still done great things for you. Let’s work on being joyful.  

5. Be a witness. Notice that vs. 2 of our text talks about the nations saying that the Lord did great things for His people. What led to the nations talking about the Lord’s greatness towards His people may be a matter of both what the Lord did and the people’s attitude about what the Lord did.

An apathetic or negative attitude can dim the light that God wants us to be known for. Acts 1:8 and Matthew 5:13-16 don’t teach about doing witnessing or acting like light or salt. They teach that we are witnesses, light, and salt.

Make up your mind to live so that people can see that the Lord has done great things for you. This may not be a matter of God giving you more material things. It may be a matter of you demonstrating more of the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23a). Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord.   

What is one thing you will take from this session and work on, in regard to your discipleship goals?

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