Good morning everyone,
It’s called “irrational exuberance.” It means being overly optimistic and joyful when there is no reason for it. It’s sliding off an icy highway into a snowy ditch and telling your wife, “This is great!” It’s having more chores, assignments, or appointments added to an already packed week, and telling a friend, “No problem!” “Get real!” may be the response of your wife and friend.
Sometimes believers are accused of irrational exuberance. After all, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Paul at the time was in prison. What logical reason was there for optimism? Or look at our world today. You don’t hear many expressions of great joy. It would seem naïve in light of international terrorism, economic uncertainty, high healthcare costs, and all the other problems sin has brought. Our own personal lives are hardly free from stress, either. Do you ever feel that Paul’s encouragement to rejoice is unrealistic?
But then take a closer look at what the apostle wrote. He doesn’t say, “Rejoice at how peaceful the world is and how smoothly your life is going,” but “Rejoice in the Lord always.” On the basis of what is humanly “reasonable,” there is nothing to rejoice in. But in the Lord there is cause for eternal celebration! He did what is totally unreasonable. The holy Lord was born into our sinful world to take the world’s guilt and punishment upon Himself. He reconciled sinners to God, that by faith we might be adopted into His family and be heirs of eternal life in heaven. Forgiveness and peace with God are a free gift! It is definitely not “reasonable,” but it is true, and nothing will ever change it.
So let’s be irrationally exuberant. Let’s put our confidence in Jesus, rejoice in the salvation He won for us, and trust that even the difficulties in earthly life will not separate us from God’s love, but rather serve to bring us closer to Him. Let the joy show and “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
In tomorrow’s sermon text (Zeph. 3:14-17), the prophet urges the people of God, even in extreme circumstances, to rejoice in the LORD with all their hearts.
The Young Adult group meets tonight. Contact Steve Mielke for more information.
The children will practice for Christmas Eve at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
The adult Bible class will continue its study of the Lord’s Supper.