Joyful Confidence

Have you ever thought about which emotion is best? The best one is by far relief.

In 2002 I was driving north into Nashville during a snowstorm and as we were cruising along we were nearing a bridge. I was pulling a trailer and the trailer started to swerve! Fortunately, we came to a complete stop right side up and felt a wave of relief that no one was hurt.

Paul’s message in Romans 5 is a message of relief: now that you have peace with God, you’ve only just begun to live, and it only gets better.
The chapter begins with the reality that we have believed! As a result of our justification by faith, we now have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace with God. Those three words carry more relief than any other.
Understanding our position in Christ as peace with God brings ultimate relief.
Peace doesn’t refer to inner tranquility, though that’s part of the relief we feel. No, peace refers to our no longer being subject to God’s wrath because of our sin.
The death of Jesus satisfied our debt of sin and set aside the resulting hostility so that God and people are no longer divided by rebellion but reconciled in peace.

Paul calls the experience of receiving God’s grace through faith and the resulting peace an introduction in 5:2. An introduction describes the process of being ushered into the court of a king and then being announced, implying the opportunity to speak to the ruler.
The use of the word “introduction” declares that Jesus Christ has ushered us into a completely new territory called grace in which we have the opportunity to live according to an utterly different standard.

So many live in uneasy expectation that their good deeds will be good enough for heaven, but those who take up residence in the land of grace can live with complete confidence. We boast that we are broke and cannot fix ourselves; we live in joyful confidence knowing who Jesus is and what He’s done for us.

3 LEVELS OF JOYFUL CONFIDENCE

1. I live with joyful confidence in the assured expectation that Christ will one day set all things right (5:2)
This is the joy of knowing we have been renewed and that we are in the process of becoming more like Jesus. Unfortunately, life this side of heaven will include suffering. This is true for everyone and perhaps even more so for believers.

2. I live with joyful confidence in my tribulation (5:3)
The challenges to joy come in all shapes and sizes. We all face them, no one gets a pass. Because we have been ushered into a new manner of life, we can live with joyful confidence under pressure. This comes from a chain reaction set up by the Lord.
Tribulation brings perseverance. Perseverance brings about proven character. Proven character brings about hope, the assured expectation. God’s character-building program rests entirely on this assured expectation.

3. I live with joyful confidence because I have been given supernatural joy (5:11)
We experience a kind of joy that transcends all other considerations in life because it’s anchored in our peace with God. Things are not yet as they should be. By the Lord’s chain reaction we have assured confidence that all things will be made right. This gives us joy that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Principles to Live Out Supernatural Joy

1. The secret of joy is having the right focus
My focus cannot be myself, it must now be my Savior and His purposes.

2. Choosing the right focus leads to having the right attitude
Once I’ve shifted my focus away from self, I no longer wander in doubt or wallow in pity.

3. The result of a right attitude is supernatural joy
As the Lord makes me teachable, humble, and grateful, I find a joy growing within me that carries me above my circumstances.
 
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.

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