Mar 10, 2022

Joy That Our Darkest Trials Cannot Steal Away

3 Min Read

You and I know the overarching goal of our lives: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

This goal involves rejoicing in the Lord, and this month Ligonier Ministries will send you the new 42-part teaching series by Dr. Steven Lawson on the book of Philippians and its theme of joy when you give a gift of any amount.

Jesus Christ has redeemed His people, so we strive to keep our Lord’s commandments (John 14:15) while facing our remaining sin and the challenges of living in a fallen world. Over the past

couple of years, I’ve heard from many Christians who struggle with one commandment in particular: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

We understand why suffocating fear and anxiety beset those in the world, yet that same fear and anxiety grips many in the church today because of the opposition Christians face in increasing measure. Can we remain joyful at all times when it seems the whole world is against us?

Dr. R.C. Sproul helped me gain clarity on what it means to rejoice in the Lord always. He said, “The key to the Christian’s joy is its source, which is the Lord. If Christ is in me and I am in Him, that relationship is not a sometimes experience.” R.C. added, “We rejoice in the Lord, and since He never leaves us or forsakes us, we can rejoice always.”

The Christian life is not for the faint of heart. But rather than looking to our own strength, we take courage by trusting in our risen and reigning Lord Jesus Christ, before whom “every knee should bow” (Phil. 2:10).

The truth is, Jesus didn’t promise an easy life for His people. He promised the way of the cross (Matt. 16:24), a daily dying to ourselves as we run the race of faith in pursuit of the glory ahead (Phil. 3:12–14). “Health and wealth” prosperity preachers proclaim an empty promise that if we trust in Christ, this life will get easier. But as the years go by, I’ve learned the reality of what R.C. always said: “My life didn’t start to get complicated until I became a Christian.”

Despite the difficulties in serving Christ in a hostile world, this race of faith is worth running because Christ is with us. Joy is not only a future promise; it awaits us now as we serve the Lord. We need the joy of the Lord to which the book of Philippians calls us (Phil. 4:4), and we need to know the Word of God so that we will unashamedly stand upon it. Only then can we persevere faithfully through all the challenges of this life, trusting our sovereign Lord’s promise to bring His good work in us to completion (Phil. 1:6).

Ligonier’s teaching resources are helping millions of people every month to find joy in Christ amid all of their life circumstances. Martinette from South Africa told us:

“I became sick at the age of 18 and had a leg amputated ten years ago. I had always wondered if God was punishing me. But R.C. helped me learn more about the Lord and what He is doing in and for me. Just recently when I was listening to R.C., joy overwhelmed me as I thought about the day I’ll go to heaven and there will be no pain. Even now, I can live life to the fullest and enjoy every second of the day with God at my side.”

To help believers find joy in Christ as they run the race of faith, we commissioned a new teaching series on the subject: Rejoice in the Lord. Dr. Steven Lawson’s verse-by-verse walkthrough of Philippians offers an in-depth look at this important epistle and is the most comprehensive study of the letter Ligonier has ever produced. I believe you’ll be greatly blessed and encouraged by it as you strive to persevere in faith, so we’ll send it to you for a gift of any amount to Ligonier this month. These 42 messages on DVD are a rich source of teaching indeed, and you’ll be among the first to receive this series when it releases in April.

As soon as your donation is processed, we’ll also add all 42 messages of this landmark teaching series to your Learning Library, allowing you to stream Rejoice in the Lord early.

Christians urgently need faithful teaching such as what Ligonier produces, and your support can serve people like Martinette to help them grapple with the eternal questions of life and be prepared to stand in the midst of trials and persecutions with joy.

Thank you for your generous support this month. You are joyful partners in the gospel (Phil. 1:3–5).