Preached by Apostle André Pelser on 29 March 2009 10am
In the Old Testament the curse of the law made it hard to enjoy the life of faith. Yet everything the Old Testament saints accomplished was done by faith in the living God. In the New Testament the curse of the law has been removed. When Jesus Christ died he became the curse for all who would believe in him. His death removed the curse and created an entry point into the Joy of having faith in God. The Holy Spirit gives us joy in believing. The life of faith in the New Covenant is a joy, not a burden or a curse.
There are different kinds of joy we experience in life, but the one that surpasses them all is the joy in believing.
The God of hope fills you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit! Romans 15:13
When you feel that all is lost and you feel tossed around like a small ship in the ocean, read Isaiah 54:11-14 and see how it will bring joy to your soul if you believe it is God speaking to you! That joy translates into joy for your children! That joy affects everyone around you for good!
The world wants you to be miserable and sad. Hollywood always equates rain with sadness. When someone is sad it rains! But read Isaiah 55 and find out that the prophet compares rain to the word of God that always produces a harvest – without fail! If we teach our children the word of God it shall produce a harvest in their lives!
If you want to know how to be a good church member read Hebrews 13:16,17 & 24. You can bring joy to those who have spiritual oversight over your life!
So you can experience joy in believing but also bring joy to those who believe!
The birth of Jesus brought good tidings of great joy – to all people! Not just to the Jews! The Jews were a chosen race to receive the oracles of God and for that we always honour them and pray for their salvation. But there is a new race: a peculiar people, a holy nation, a kingdom of priests: it is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The birth of Jesus Christ expressed the glory of God in the earth. It brought peace and good will toward men. It was the fulfilment of the prophecies of Isaiah in chapters 7 and 9. Wise men came to worship the baby and brought him gifts! Wise men still do that today!
Various people had joy in believing in the Bible. Just shortly after he was born Simeon saw the baby and blessed God and said he could depart in peace, ‘for my eyes have seen your salvation!’ He could see by the eyes of faith that Jesus would become the Saviour of the world. Moses endured by constantly seeing him who was invisible. David set the Lord before him so that he would not sin. Joseph’s faith that he walked before God saved him from sin and helped him to endure unjust punishment until his faith was rewarded and he became the Prime Minister of Egypt who could help his family and his nation out of their distressful famine! He prophesied by faith that his people would leave Egypt and commanded them to take his old bones with them when they go! He saw 400 years ahead of time!
What gives us joy is the fact that we believe things that we cannot see! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We were not there when the earth was created, but we believe the worlds were framed by the word of God. That gives us joy in believing! If you want to go ahead and believe Darwin’s theories that we came from the apes – go ahead and believe it, but it will not give you any joy!
Simeon means ‘hearing’. Simeon heard about the birth of the Messiah and he believed it. Those who refuse to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah cannot have joy in believing. They are waiting for something that has already come. They will constantly be disappointed because they cannot enter the rest of faith.
A young man went to sit next to an old Jewish gentleman at Muizenberg beach, the story goes, and told him about the story of Jesus and his redemptive work on the cross of Calvary. The old Jewish man began to cry, silently.
‘What’s the matter?’ the young man asked.
‘Why has no one ever told me about Jesus? I am 80 years old and this is the first time I have heard the good news about the Messiah!’
Simeon heard about Jesus and saw the future by faith. He embraced it and had joy in believing. Hebrews 11;13
Mary sang her magnificat after she received the Angel Gabriel’s message that she was chosen to give birth to the Saviour of the world! ‘My soul magnifies the Lord for he has seen the lowly state of his handmaiden!’
Joseph believed the dream in which the angel told him to marry Mary in spite of the fact that she was pregnant because that seed was the seed of God. He had to overcome all his doubts and fears of being mocked, and he had joy in believing!
Anna a prophetess, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher was only married for 7 years when her husband passed away. She could have been the most bitter woman always feeling sorry for herself and going through life hating God for what happened to her – but instead she had joy in believing! Anna means ‘grace’ and Phanuel means ‘face of God’. Asher means ‘happy’! Her father’s name indicated that he sought the face of God for abundance of grace! He came from a happy tribe!
If you have joy in believing you can have a happy family! You can bring joy wherever you go!
At school I was mocked because I always smiled and seemed happy. My nickname was ‘Smiley’. When I worked for a finance company in Johannesburg the secretary would greet me on Monday mornings and say, ‘what do you have to smile about?’
‘Jesus saved my soul and made me whole – that’s why I am smiling!’
I printed a little tract with one of Aje’s earliest drawings on the cover that read, ‘Smile, Jesus loves you!’ We distributed thousands of them free of charge.
Anna decided to dedicate her life to the church. She never left the temple day and night and she lived a life of fasting and prayer waiting for the promised Messiah. When she saw the baby Jesus she gave thanks to the Lord for seeing the redemption of the world! She had joy in believing!
What we as believers in Jesus ought to learn is to have joy in believing and not merely wait for the manifestation of what we are believing for! This is the difference between believers and unbelievers: by the power of the Holy Ghost we can have joy and peace in believing – before we actually see the manifestation! That is what makes us different: we rejoice about something no one else can see! We do not walk by sight, but by faith! Our joy is based on the fact that we believe in an invisible God and that we have confidence in Him.
Faith is not a curse – it is a blessing! It is an honour to believe in Jesus! It brings joy to my soul and no one can take it away from me! His word is the source of my joy – faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy – in spite of the circumstance we have to face, in spite of what is happening in the world.
Paul & Silas were stripped naked, beaten with sticks and bound in stocks and chains in the inner prison for preaching the Gospel and setting a youn