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Advent: Joy

Hebrews 12:1-2
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Hebrews 12.1-2

Introductory thoughts…

If you believe the Gospel then this joy is already in you. Life is designed to help you access this joy – this joy is what distinguishes Christians from those who don’t know God.

1. Joy reminds us that we are not the first people to suffer hardship, v. 1

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

Hebrews 11.32-40
  • The Bible’s authenticity does two things:
    • Encourages modern Christians to hold fast during suffering, and
    • Keeps our own sufferings in perspective
2. Joy says we are capable of what we are responsible for, v. 2
  • Two principles of revival
    • You must put away any unconfessed sin
    • You must put away any doubtful habit
3. Joy is informed by where you look, v. 2
4. Joy is fuel for the journey, v. 2

“While other world-views lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”

Tim Keller
5. Joy sees the big picture, v. 2