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Reasons To Rejoice!

1 Peter 1: 3-9

Dr. Alexander Whyte of Edinburg was known for his pulpit prayers.
He always found something to thank God for, even in bad times.

One dark, stormy morning a member of his congregation thought to himself,
"The preacher will have nothing to thank God for, on a wretched morning like this."

But Dr. Whyte began his prayer, "We thank thee, O God, that it is not always like this."

When we live a life of dependence upon God, we learn to rejoice in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

In his letter written to Christians scattered across Asia Minor, Peter says life should be filled with rejoicing.
Even in the midst of trials, we can rejoice.
He calls these individuals in 1 Peter 1:1, "pilgrims," or, "sojourners," indicating
their temporary residency status and their spiritual situation.
They were living their lives away from the support of the Jerusalem Christians.

In a real sense, they were spiritual sojourners also.
So are we!
This world really isn't our home; we are just passing through on our way to our eternal home.
We need to learn how to rejoice, even in the midst of trial.

Look at 1 Peter 1:3-9 and consider "reasons to rejoice."
Here we see that God's people can rejoice because of their new life in Christ. God's people can rejoice because of their new life in Christ.

Verse 6 says, "In this you greatly rejoice." (NIV)
Rejoice in what?
Verse 3 says God has "begotten us again."
This phrase refers to the new life we have experienced through entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The God of Creation has made something new out of something old.
He has breathed new life into our empty spiritual condition.
Because Jesus lives in our life, we have joy and meaning, and we don't have to face life with griping and complaining.
That is a reason to rejoice!

Verse 3 says the means, by which we have been begotten again, is through the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Peter says only through Jesus Christ can we have this new life.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me."
(John 14: 6)

We know people who think all they have to do is live a good life, come to church now and then,
maybe, even drop something into the offering plate, and they'll be all right.
We know better than that, and we can rejoice because we have new life in Christ.

Not only do we have new life in Jesus Christ, but we also have a living hope.

God's people can rejoice because of their living hope.
Peter says in verse 3. God has "begotten us again unto a lively hope". Many people put hope in some kind of material thing.
They put their hope in the stock market or in their bank account.
Some put their hope in a job or in a person.

The stock market plummets, an emergency wipes out their bank account, or that person fails them
or their company dismisses them, and they no longer have a job.
Where is their hope?

The only hope that is alive is that which we put into a living Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul says we have reason to rejoice because our hope is alive.

Oscar Hammerstein, the composer of Rogers and Hammerstein fame, once said,
"I just can't write anything without hope in it."

When we have Jesus Christ in our life, our hope is not dead.
Our hope is alive because Jesus Christ lives!
For that reason we can rejoice!

Peter gives a another reason to rejoice.

God's people can rejoice because of their inheritance.
In verse four Peter uses four words or phrases to describe in detail this new inheritance that our new birth brings. This was good news to Peter's readers. Peter encouraged them by saying that God was protecting them and undergirding them. Our tendency in life is to complain about our circumstances and to gripe about our situation.
Peter reminds us that we have good reasons to rejoice and that our lives must be filled with thanksgiving,
even in the midst of troubles and trials.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr.White at

An illustration that you might insert in this message.

Our automobile has a device called cruise control.
When you're on the highway and push that cruise control, you can take your foot off the accelerator.
You are not concerned about the hills and valleys on the highway.

When the car comes to a hill or mountain, the acceleration is automatic.
The car continues to move at the speed set on the cruise control, regardless of the terrain.

It is so for us, as Christians.
We can take life each day at an even pace, whether the road leads to the rugged mountains or travels on a level highway.
When the going gets tough, we have strength for every challenge because God is providing the power for us
to live our life in Christ.
Regardless of what is happening around us, we can have joy and peace within.
This becomes possible when we put our lives in Christ-control.