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Joy in Christ

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2022 12:01 am

Joy in Christ

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 17, 2022 12:01 am

Depression and anxiety have climbed steeply in recent years. How should Christians respond to these challenging times? Today, R.C. Sproul identifies the key to being grateful and content, no matter the circumstances.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind. There's a real sense in which anxiety is certain. There's a real sense in which anxiety means overbroad. I do not trust you for my future. I do not trust you for tomorrow. I do not trust you for the day after tomorrow. Consumer Reports rates of depression and anxiety climbed by more than 25% in 2020. The global pandemic wars around the world and the cratering economy and an increase in violent crime have people well anxious. How should we respond in these challenging times. Her message that they come from the look in your archives.

This is not been heard in several decades. In fact, you may have detected a youthfulness and RC's voice their its exclusive content like this that we are pleased to share with our ministry part month will let you know how you can be included in the special group of people. Later in the program but right now let's join Dr. Strohl as he explains why we should be anxious for nothing, rejoice in the Lord always again I will say, rejoice. It's almost psychologically impossible for a person to willfully rejoice. We have a tendency to think of joy in passive categories.

Joy is something you either feel or you don't feel it has a tendency to be understood as being basically spontaneous and who in the world can go up to another person said, rejoice, say you want to rejoice faster. I'm miserable. My life is falling apart at the seams.

I'm contemplating ending at all and disable the problem with you Mr. is that you're not happy.

That's right, this is what you need to do is be happy. So my advice to you, my counsel is God and be happy.

What kind of a counselor is that they were, ministers that are just as Gobi happy.

We do not think in terms realistically of eliciting joy by means of the imperative. Although there is are those who do it and who will irritate you and offend you know and as I said the guy who comes up and says pack up your troubles and old kitbag smile smile smile I like the good humor man tries to force you to be happy when you don't feel. Nevertheless, the apostle here Doris call us to rejoicing by means of a repeated imperative and what he is saying that in the life of the Christian rejoicing is not optional and is not talking about feelings here is not saying control your feelings, but he is saying in a sense of participating in that joy that comes from contemplating what God has done for you, and to be able to rejoice means to walk every minute in the confidence that God is God that we can even rejoice in the midst of tribulation. Paul is not trying to be the stomach and say I don't feel the tribulation. I don't feel the hassle I don't feel the oppression I don't feel the misery he feels in the field of the depth of his beg is a human bank is not asking people to sacrifice the reality of their feelings, but he said can we stay and praise God and glorify God in the middle of the and so he says rejoice to these people. Let your furbearing spirits be known to man for the Lord is near the forbearing spirit of course tests reference to do the fact that these people were tolerance, not in a immoral kind of away, but that they were fair-minded they were people who understood that the Christian church is a fellowship of forgiveness. They were patient with each other.

They were patient with each other struggles they participated in the struggles and that's a let that continue. Let it be known by all men, for the Lord is near know what this means again raises in technical theological questions here. Does this mean that Paul is saying that the return of Christ is at hand in his Paul teaching at this point, a very soon imminent return of Christ and therefore was wrong in his expectation or is he simply using a common Hebraic expression to speak of the presence of God that is always near at hand. Nearby, it could be either one of those could be saying that the coming of Christ is near and that there's a certain sense in which that's always true in the Christian community the Christian community is to live every moment as if she is living in the last days because we are and we have been living in a crisis. In history since the advent of Christ, and we should indeed be people who are living on the edge of expect tigers on the site. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus again strange kind of imperative the anxious in nothing. Be anxious about nothing cannot be an imperative way.

Simply saying here is that for the Christian, there is no possible argument drawn basis for anxiety because above everything else.

We are committed to a God who has revealed himself not only is the God of the past who gives us a sense of origin is also the God of the present but most significantly, he is the God of the future that is to say if God is God and if God has revealed himself in Christ, he has revealed to us the fact that our lives do have meaning. Our lives do have ultimate significance, our lives will manifest themselves that if we are in Christ. In a state of total felicitate and God has guaranteed that by his promise for the future, and in light of that, it would be a gross act of unbelief and offense against the trustworthiness of God for us to be creatures of anxiety.

There's a real sense in which anxiety is sin.

There's a real sense in which anxiety means of God. I do not trust you for my future. I do not trust you for tomorrow. I do not trust you for the day after tomorrow is be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God only just say here that in a very practical sense.

Here's the answer to anxiety 99 times out of 100, the anxious person is the person doesn't spend much time in prayer the anxious person is a person who strays from his fall.

Who doesn't know God who has no understanding of God because he is no intimate communion with Annette course can be broken up into proportions to Esther how much anxiety with abilities and the answer anxieties in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks giving lecture request made known to God of age or worried about something you have a capacity word by significant produce anxiety that will destroy we do talk to God, let before, let your requests and your supplications come to God. And when you do that. Always be sure to do it with thanksgiving. The great areas of weakness in our prayer life today is the area of adoration and in the area of thanksgiving were pretty strong accounts of supplication okay on that.

You know, dear God, please give me this and do this and do that now we keep God busy with our prayer, but the sometimes of Donna Nash.

He saw how much time do I spend in my prayer life in adoration how much time do I spend in thanksgiving those two are very closely related.

The more we come to endure God, the more we come to thank him were driven to praise and thanksgiving are inseparably related okay in the here's the key. Having done this to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension piece which passes understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Here is God's answer to anxiety his peace.

The thing I think that is most difficult of all things, to communicate to a non-Christian is the dimension of case you either know that by your bonds with Christ you don't know. I don't know any way to intellectualize the peace that passes understanding, because it passes understanding. It's impossible to make it understandable to someone who doesn't know it intimately and really this is to make the great tragedy, and the great frustration of trying to communicate Christ to other people is that I know that person who is outside of Christ.

I know if he doesn't want anything else that person wants peace that he'll try everything they get pace and I know that there's only one place he can get. I know what it is and I know that if he ever tasted it for five minutes and never let go.

But how to communicate again the greatest single legacy that Jesus gave to his people what they leave to file for us lately with money leave his house that he leave this those horses. Natalie said my piece. I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gifts Jesus says on the give a piece to my people. It's not like the peace the world has to offer and that peace is been promised and that of course was the hope of the Jewish people. To this day.

They greet each other how hello goodbye no shalom and the response shalom alike. Political shalom, peace be unto you and unto you peace usually says the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension. This follows from communion with God that comes by letting your supplications, your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving.

This will follow the peace of God, about which of us are cobras and shall guard your hearts and your minds eye like that work guard word in the Greek here is the word that was used as the descriptive term of the century, the person who had to be on guard. In other words, he was called to a hyper sense of vigilance not just casually observing, but the century was one whose full-time job was to guard to watch out the take care and what Paul is saying here using military terms is that the peace of God will not only come to make you feel better, but will be like a century over your heart whenever your mind keeping you together preserving from anxiety. Finally, bring whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

I remember a man that I talked to once came to me one time he told me that he had a real struggle with his mind after he became a Christian with the problem of lost and go to bed at night, relate as the head on the pillow he would do would begin to let his mind go wild with all kinds of lustful imagination they call me holiday been able to overcome that city purposely and willfully when he laid his head in this pillow at night consciously began to rehearse in his mind everything that he could think of of Christ and this is fact.

You can't think about two things Santa and he said that he began to fall off to sleep in his sleep was peaceful sleep and he said the thing to was to get his not only his conscious mind converted but his unconscious mind convert. So after a while he began to dream of the sweetness of Christ rather than those things which are were not pure and Paul is saying here is a sense in which the mind can be trained. Let your mind dwell on those things which are sweet those things which are beautiful. What you feed your mind when we read webinar mind has access to think in terms of what goes into it a certain sense in which we program our thoughts.

Paul is simply saying here a program than that.

That which is honorable or that which is right, which is pure, lovely, good repute, let your mind dwell on these things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things in the God of peace shall be with you, but I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me and Dede were concerned before, but you lack the opportunity to speak for months.

I've learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am only Paul ever learned about or less. You can master that when you got it we can be content in whatever circumstances herein. I know how to get along with humble means and I know how to live in prosperity. Another translation as I know how to be a base than I know how to abound as is very significant point for the whole question of materialism today know there are those who are reviving the poverty boughs of the old monastic. In arguing that a Christian cannot be one who owns private property, or who has any means in terms of wealth that a Christian is obliged to give away his money after every degree. I don't think that that's the biblical concept of stewardship certainly is sacrificial giving certainly is an idolatry of money is certainly a poured but Paula says we have to learn as Christians how to be based how to live in poverty if that's the calling of God. We have learned how to do it the same time of God's place, to bless us with prosperity. We also have to learn how to buy a lot of people don't how to be prosperous. Prosperity can go to our heads. We can begin to flaunt it, we can begin to use of this power, weaving them to be ostentatious display of our of our power through money and all that business to me that a person doesn't doesn't huddle by mailing a person to be so filled with guilt feeling because God is proximity has been a piece with any gift that God gives a minute that person needs to learn how all casinos out below with humble means S&L in prosperity in every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both having abundance and is suffering. Need I can do all things through him who strengthens me somebody keep that in this context, Paul is not giving confession took plaintiff century ability here and he simply saying that I've been able to deal with all of these kinds of problems. How to live in tribulation huddle living been planning want sickness and in the net health and all the rest of the Christian is one who can deal with all these things because of the strength that is present in Christ. I get disturbed with well-meaning Christians who go out and tell people in the world that if they come to Christ all their problems will be over. That's nonsense. That's just not true. I've said it before, said again. I really don't think my life became complicated until I became a Christian. For one thing, you begin to take life a whole lot more seriously thinking about you are now committed to a value system and the standard is a lot harder to deal with that if you accept the standards of this world. I never cared before. If I hurt somebody's feelings if I got mad I say what I want to say that they got hurt too bad you know that's the way it is now all of a sudden they got a deal with the fact that you've injured another person. You gotta take that seriously like because very complex. If you earnestly endeavoring to do the will of God. However, as complex as it becomes difficult as it becomes.

There is a new power and a new ability to cope with life situations that is impossible to have apart from the presence of God spirit and I don't know how many people have said to me, I will monetize us to tell the people how to those people make it without Christ. But oftentimes I hear will Christianity is a crutch. There's a certain sense, which that's right because were crippled people. There's nothing more foolish than to use a crutch when you don't need a crutch. That's foolishness. I person who would walk around with crutches who can walk probably well on his own. These other crutches kicked out from under but if you cripple you try walk without a crutch. That's even more devastating is even more foolish and there's a very real sense of profound sense and ultimate sense in which all of us are in the prep that the issue is not is Christ the crotch but is Christ true, if he is the son of God, and he has come down to meet my needs than a be utterly foolish for me to try to live without that crutch. If he's a fantasy if is an unreality things a phony that is crutches useless in the final analysis, but we can't settle the issue of the truthfulness of Christianity on the basis of whether or not it meets people's needs, for heaven sakes supposed to meet people. Paul is saying through Christ. I can do all things because he strength.

Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my flexion and you yourselves also know Philippians that the first preaching the gospel after departed from Macedonia. No church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving. But you alone on an indictment that is on the other churches Freeman and Thessalonica you send a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account and please pause another I despise a gift.

I'm not opposed to an bondage gala needed that you met real needs in my life.

But thing is I'm rejoicing is not only that my needs was met, but you need was met and Paula say online about those other churches that have not met their responsibility.

I don't care if they give their money to Mayor. They give the Timothy or Silas or whoever they want to give it to the name of Christ though it when they don't do it all going to Georgia is a serious matter, so Paul is rejoicing here that the fact that these people have met their responsibility and they've done it is very difficult for ministers to hammer at the people about money in the 20th century is because it also sounds like I want an increase in my salary.

I want a new house. I want a new car and all that but that's minute can be the reason for motivation for some men, to be sure that that's not the point. If Lazarus were pastors do not call the people to sacrificial giving their church. We are not doing them a favor. All I might like it if we never talk about money. Paul talks about it very freely here, but I have received everything in full and have an abundance. I'm amply supplied.

I'm thrilled having received from a path to guide us what you have sent a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God.

The same Apollo saying I'm not only priest I don't use. Thank you for those gifts God has placed this is a sacrifice for sweet smelling sacrifice with a beautiful fragrance and aroma before God, because God knows that you gave this gift because you were concerned, participate in my ministry acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. And what does that prompting the site and my God shall supply all your needs according to the riches in glory in Christ Jesus you can take that more literally been often were want to do this is my God is going to supply all of your knee and he's going to do it out of the riches of glory in in glory is in Christ Jesus God to our God and father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Paul concludes his epistle with a greeting to the people greet every saint in Christ Jesus, as every belief the brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints.

Especially those of Caesar's house the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, amen. This Dr. RC Sproul in a message titled joy in Christ were glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind. I'm Lee Webb and all week we've had the privilege of hearing messages. The all the way back to the earliest days of licking your ministries and you know what's encouraging about that despite the decades and the many changes in world events.

God's word is still perfectly applicable to every one of us. What a joy it is to study Scripture we been highlighting these lessons this week because we want to introduce you to our ministry partner program want to share with you a portion of a conversation I had with one of our ministry partners name Luke. I asked him what caused him and his wife to go from appreciating look in your ministries to becoming a monthly partner. I think that we very much see the value and necessity, and the resources that you guys at Lake and your put out, and how that is so helpful not just for people interested in Christianity matches so helpful in people new to Christianity, but really helpful to people who have been Christians for years and the depth of teaching put out is simple enough that anyone can understand that but also deep enough that just about everyone I think can benefit from it, and there's not at least to my knowledge there.

Not a whole lot of organizations putting out the quality of what you guys put out in the depth of what you guys put out, coming from one organization so on the geology side of things.

It's kind of a no-brainer. I Luke we appreciate you sharing that with some joint here.

The studio buyer, president and CEO Chris Larson then really Chris that's that's what this ministry is all about its licking arms with young families like Luke and his wife, and knowing that were able to serve millions of people around the world and I just want to and reflect back even when RC was talking about post letter to the Philippians and remember how he begins the letter he thanks them for their partnership in the gospel and that is exactly what the ministry partner program is it is a partnership in the gospel is leaking air is being used by the Lord in the carrying out of the great commission around the world. We have been encouraged by tremendous growth just in the past few years and this is really part of the plan that Dr. scroll foresaw and his hopes and prayers for licking your to have an ongoing impact in the lives of Christians around the world and in a time of increasing darkness. We really need to get the light of the gospel out there, in greater measure. That's what the ministry partners do they come alongside of us to encourage us through their monthly support, but also in knowing that they are committing to pray for the word of God as it goes forth, and this is a treasured special relationship and so if you're out there listening to this and you have not yet taken that step to become a monthly supporter. Take a moment to make this commitment. It's it's not a large financial commitment, but it means so much to us on a monthly basis. Thank you and may God bless you and your family as you serve the Lord, and if you would like to become a ministry partner you can call us at 800-435-4343 or if you prefer, you can sign up online when you go to Renewing Your grateful that you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind. I hope you make plans to join us again Monday

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