Related to yesterday’s post on joy, Pastor John dealt with the reality of this life and the wonder of Jesus in a helpful way during his sermon on Sunday, If a Grain of Wheat Dies, It Bears Much Fruit:
(Jesus) says, I am going to glory. I am going to bear much fruit. And the way I am going is by hating my life in this world, by suffering and dying for you.
And then he says, Follow me. Die with me. Hate your life in this world with me. Serve me.
Two things become unmistakably clear. One is that this is hard. And the other is that this is glorious.
That’s a little more realistic about the opportunity for joy than buying tools or shoes!
Specifically, Pastor John speaks to how this feeds joy as he concluded the sermon:
So don’t miss the glory and the overflowing joy in this hard life of being a Christian.
- We die;
- we hate our lives in this world;
- we follow Jesus on the Calvary road;
- we become servants.
And when we do, what we find is that
- We bear much fruit;
- we keep our lives for eternal life;
- we join Jesus where he is in glory;
- the Father honors us.
The culture, and our own sinful hearts, would have us believe that a child with disabilities destroys any opportunity for joy. Ironically, to a culture that prizes ease and entertainment, experiencing disability or disease in our families prepares us for real joy guaranteed.
But only if we know Jesus.
Because of Jesus, the Christian looks directly at hard things and understands there is a greater, richer, infinitely glorious thing happening that will bring glory to the Father. But that isn’t all – it is also ultimately and eternally for our good because we get to be with Jesus.