From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
In Philippians 4:4, the Apostle Paul exhorts all Christians to “rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” In the midst of life’s difficulties, in the midst of life’s pains, in the midst of life’s confusion, Christians are to rejoice and be happy. How do you remain happy when you don’t understand why it seems to always “rain in my house?” How are you able to maintain a positive disposition when your marriage is one source of major problems in your life? How can you rejoice when your financial situation keeps you up at night? How can you rejoice and be happy when your thoughts are consumed with thinking that God has abandoned you? Regardless of the situation you may find yourself facing, Paul says Christians need to rejoice.
Years later, while serving the churches in Asia Minor, Peter appealed to these Christians to rejoice and to have “joy inexpressible” in the midst of their pressures and difficulties of life. These followers of Christ were going through “fiery trials”, but Peter challenged them to rejoice (I Pet. 4:12-13). Peter, in both epistles, cites directly and indirectly numerous reasons to rejoice as Christians regardless of life’s situation. We have examined eight of those reasons and today’s devotional thought shall feature Peter’s ninth reason to rejoice and be happy as Christians because we have absolute truth.
There was a time in the history of the world when truth was extremely important and people sought to know truth. Those who searched after truth were called philosophers (lovers of wisdom). Today, many philosophers are the very ones questioning the truth. For five decades, the American society has been greatly influenced by a philosophical framework known as postmodernism. This framework advocates there is no absolute truth; therefore we can’t know truth. Truth, it postulates, is relative to the situation and/or culture. For me, when it comes to this philosophical framework, I accept Paul’s philosophy, “let God be true but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
Christians should rejoice and be happy because we have absolute truth. There are several facts about truth that lead me to this conclusion. First, the Bible (Scripture) says we have “all the truth” (Jo. 16:13). The Holy Spirit has “made known” not some but all the truth (Col. 1:26-27; Eph. 3:3-10). Second, truth is identifiable; Jesus says the “word is truth” (Jo. 17:17). Third, truth is “God-breathed”, true and completely trustworthy (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Fourth, truth is understandable and attainable (Jo. 8:32; Eph. 3:4).
The Bible contains all the truth as to what a person must obey to be made righteous or approved by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Christians of Asia Minor had obeyed the truth and Peter says when they did this, it “purified their souls” (I Pet. 1:22). They had cleansed their souls by coming into contact with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2, 18-19). By the act of compliance with the gospel of Christ, truth (I Pet. 1:25), they were eligible to enter into heaven. Their souls were purified because they obeyed the truth, absolute truth; thus, Peter tells them to rejoice with joy inexpressible. They were heaven bound. Thank God that we can know the truth because we have absolute truth.