We become children of God when we believe in Christ. This makes us co-heirs with Jesus, inheriting God’s kingdom. In the past weeks I have shared a couple of the jewels we can claim during our time here on Earth; hope and forgiveness. Another treasure, and probably the most misunderstood, is joy. Joy does not equate with happiness. It is much deeper and unrelated to our surroundings. Jesus said in John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” And He explains in verse 11, “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Understanding that the God of the Universe unconditionally loves us completes our joy. Being filled with joy comes from faith. Nowhere in the Bible does it relate joy with acquiring material things or obtaining human achievements. It is from simply believing in God and His promises. “He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God.” Acts 16:34
In times of trouble, trust in God can be a tool for healing. David said in Psalm 94:19, “When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.” The situation around David was dire but his faith in God did not allow despair to crush the joy within him. That joy can become our strength, just as Nehemiah said; “Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Claim your inheritance of joy by trusting God when things don’t go your way. You may not be happy about something in your life but you can be filled with the joy of the Lord by knowing He loves you as His children and heirs.
I leave you with I Thessalonians 5:16, “Be joyful always.”
Explain a time when you where full of joy amid challenging times.
“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even thou we have rebelled against him.” Daniel 9:9
Part of our inheritance as children of God is to be forgiven. Christ died and paid the price for our sins. When we confess, He is generous to forgive.
That forgiveness is not just something we receive; God has given it to us that we may be able to pass it on. All of us have experienced pain caused by someone else. What we do with that pain becomes an influence in our lives. When we replay wounds over in our mind or repeat them to others, they recreate the injury again and again. The pain becomes poison making us physically and spiritually sick. We can’t spiritually grow until we ask God for forgiveness, in the same way we are not spiritually healthy until we give forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Ephesians 4:32 reminds us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Not only are we told to forgive; our own forgiveness will be measured against how we forgive others.
So what have we inherited? When God asks us to do something, He gives us the tools to do it. Part of our inheritance is the ability to forgive others and freeing ourselves of the heavy weight of bitterness.
How have you forgiven someone who you held a grudge against?
Last week I talked about being an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus. While we live in this world what is it we possess from our Heavenly Father’s estate? There are many things we can claim as our own, starting with hope.
Hope is a desire accompanied by the expectation of fulfillment, according to Webster’s dictionary. Psalm 62:5 tells us, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.”
As Christians, we have faith that our desires will come to pass when they are aligned with God’s will. We can rest assured that whatever befalls us God is with us. That hope is not something we have to earn or wait for, it is within our grasp at this moment.
The hope God gives us is different than mans hope. In man, I may want to win the lottery, but with God my soul rests in the expectation that He will help me through all hardships. My selfish longing may be to write a best-seller, but peace fills me when I write for God’s glory.
When we place our hope in God, we have more than an expectation; we have an assurance of fulfillment. Claim your rightful inheritance by resting in God alone.
Has there been a time when your hope in God helped you through tough times? How did you claim your inheritance?
I am attending a Beth Moore study called “Inheritance.” If you ever doubted your place in God’s family this would be a good study. As children of God, we do not receive the left over inheritance of the tenth child or a favored servant. We receive the full inheritance of the first born son. We receive all that God has to offer.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
“The eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” Oh, I like that. When our heart truly knows that we are beloved children of God, it is full of joy, ready to accept the riches of our inheritance. Our gift is not mere earthly wealth but everything promised to Jesus, God’s “only son” (John 3:16). We have hope, riches and power at our disposal. The only stipulation to access what is rightfully ours is to believe.
Beth Moore says, “As an heiress of God, my life is never left to chance.”
What does that statement mean to you and your inheritance?