March 17-23, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 115–126.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: We are to grow in joy, “more and more unto the perfect day.” (See Proverbs 4:18.)
INTRODUCTION: “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,—the great mercy and love of God,—we should have more faith and greater joy.” The Ministry of Healing, 252.
Rejoicing in the Lord
1 What does Isaiah say will be the response of those who personally, by faith, receive God’s robe of righteousness? Isaiah 61:10; Romans 5:1, 2.
NOTE: “Christ pardons none but the penitent, but whom He pardons He first makes penitent. The provision made is complete, and the eternal righteousness of Christ is placed to the account of every believing soul. The costly, spotless robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has been provided for the repenting, believing sinner.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 393, 394.
2 What does Paul say about our frequency of rejoicing in the Lord? Phillipians 4:4.
NOTE: “Praise the Lord even when you fall into darkness. Praise Him even in temptation.…Will that bring gloom and darkness into your families? No, indeed; it will bring a sunbeam. You will thus gather rays of eternal light from the throne of glory and scatter them around you.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 593, 594.
“From Rome, Paul wrote, unmindful of his fetters as he saw the spread of the gospel, ‘I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.’ Philippians 1:18. And the very words of Christ upon the mount are re-echoed in Paul’s message to the Philippian church, in the midst of their persecutions, ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.’ Philippians 4:4.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 35.
Rejoicing in His Forgiveness
3 What is one of the spiritual benefits we are counseled to remember? Psalm 103:1–3.
NOTE: “Every true turning to the Lord brings abiding joy into the life. When a sinner yields to the influence of the Holy Spirit, he sees his own guilt and defilement in contrast with the holiness of the great Searcher of hearts. He sees himself condemned as a transgressor. But he is not, because of this, to give way to despair; for his pardon has already been secured. He may rejoice in the sense of sins forgiven, in the love of a pardoning heavenly Father. It is God’s glory to encircle sinful, repentant human beings in the arms of His love, to bind up their wounds, to cleanse them from sin, and to clothe them with the garments of salvation.” Prophets and Kings, 668.
“In the consciousness of sins forgiven there is inexpressible peace and joy and rest.” The Ministry of Healing, 267.
4 What two things did Jesus do for the palsied man? Luke 5:18–25.
NOTE: “In the home of the paralytic there was great rejoicing when he returned to his family, carrying with ease the couch upon which he had been slowly borne from their presence but a short time before.…Joy and hope were written in every lineament of his countenance, and an expression of purity and peace had taken the place of the marks of sin and suffering. Glad thanksgiving went up from that home, and God was glorified through His Son, who had restored hope to the hopeless and strength to the stricken one. This man and his family were ready to lay down their lives for Jesus. No doubt dimmed their faith, no unbelief marred their fealty to Him who had brought light into their darkened home.” Ibid., 79.
Rejoicing in Obedience
5 According to the psalmist, what do the “statutes of the Lord,” do to the heart? Psalm 19:8.
NOTE: “When the Spirit of God reveals to man the full meaning of the law, a change takes place in his heart. The faithful portrayal of his true state by the prophet Nathan made David acquainted with his own sins, and aided him in putting them away. He accepted the counsel meekly, and humbled himself before God. [Psalm 19:7–14 quoted.]” Review and Herald, April 5, 1898.
6 In what will those who rejoice in God’s forgiveness also delight? Psalm 119:35, 47.
NOTE: “All your happiness, peace, joy, and success in this life are dependent upon genuine, trusting faith in God. This faith will prompt true obedience to the commandments of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 45.
“For nations as well as for individuals, the path of obedience to God is the path of safety and happiness, while that of transgression leads only to disaster and defeat.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 591.
“Obedience to the law is essential, not only to our salvation, but to our own happiness and the happiness of all with whom we are connected.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 218.
Rejoicing in Labor for Others
7 What will those that soweth and those that reapeth eventually do together? John 4:35, 36.
NOTE: “And the effort to bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves. This was the purpose of God in giving us a part to act in the plan of redemption. He has granted men the privilege of becoming partakers of the divine nature and, in their turn, of diffusing blessings to their fellow men. This is the highest honor, the greatest joy, that it is possible for God to bestow upon men. Those who thus become participants in labors of love are brought nearest to their Creator.” Steps to Christ, 79.
8 For our joy to be full, what did Jesus desire for us? John 15:11; John 17:13.
NOTE: “In view of what Christ has done for us, and what He has suffered for sinners, we should, out of pure, disinterested love for souls, imitate His example by sacrificing our own pleasure and convenience for their good. The joy set before Christ, which sustained Him in all His sufferings, was the salvation of poor sinners. This should be our joy and the spur of our ambition in the cause of our Master. In so doing we please God and manifest our love and devotion to Him as His servants.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 115. See also Prophets and Kings, 172.
Rejoicing in His Works
9 What does the psalmist say our hearts will do when we sing and talk of God’s wondrous works? Psalm 105:2, 3.
NOTE: “Like the Hebrew host, we should praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice for His ‘wonderful works to the children of men.’ Those who dwell upon God’s great mercies, and are not unmindful of His lesser gifts, will put on the girdle of gladness and make melody in their hearts to the Lord. The daily blessings that we receive from the hand of God, and above all else the death of Jesus to bring happiness and heaven within our reach, should be a theme for constant gratitude. What compassion, what matchless love, has God shown to us, lost sinners, in connecting us with Himself, to be to Him a peculiar treasure! What a sacrifice has been made by our Redeemer, that we may be called children of God! We should praise God for the blessed hope held out before us in the great plan of redemption, we should praise Him for the heavenly inheritance and for His rich promises; praise Him that Jesus lives to intercede for us.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 289.
10 What did David declare as he thought upon the marvelous creation of man? Psalm 139:14.
NOTE: “The mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. It is not as the result of a mechanism, which, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath. In God we live and move and have our being. The beating heart, the throbbing pulse, every nerve and muscle in the living organism, is kept in order and activity by the power of an ever-present God.” The Ministry of Healing, 417.
Rejoicing in Hopes of Heaven
11 What are we told was the ultimate focus of God’s people? Hebrews 11:16.
NOTE: “Difficulties will arise that will try your faith and patience. Face them bravely. Look on the bright side. If the work is hindered, be sure that it is not your fault, and then go forward, rejoicing in the Lord. Heaven is full of joy. It resounds with the praises of Him who made so wonderful a sacrifice for the redemption of the human race. Should not the church on earth be full of praise? Should not Christians publish throughout the world the joy of serving Christ? Those who in heaven join with the angelic choir in their anthem of praise must learn on earth the song of heaven, the keynote of which is thanksgiving.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 244.
12 The true Christian is looking forward to what wonderful reality? 11 Peter 3:12, 13.
NOTE: “And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.” The Great Controversy, 678.