Finally…rejoice in the Lord.
Sometimes its all a matter of how we look at something.
Finally, as in–it’s about time? Enough already. At last…
Have you ever read this verse tucked away in the third chapter of Philippians from the perspective that God is just waiting for us to get it? Waiting for the truth to sink in deep, transform our perspective, and move us to choose joy?
Choose joy? Really?
Maybe you’re thinking, yeah right. How can I rejoice with _______ going on in my life? I can barely keep my head above water and things can’t get any worse. I’d love to be joyful, but I just can’t.
Maybe you feel like finding joy in the hard things is only for the spiritual super heroes–those that can leap over the walls of hardship in a single bound.
I’ve felt that way.
- There have been many pit days of feeling stuck in the miry clay of challenges.
- In-the-pit days of trying to put on a happy face and talk myself out of a good sulk.
- Times when my emotions get pulled under the weight of circumstances and problems. Days I’d rather scream than get out my joy pom-poms and work up a good cheer.
- Moments when faith comes hard and I just don’t understand.
Paul knew all of this and more as he wrote about joy from the confines of prison.
The Apostle Paul tells us that choosing to rejoice in the Lord is a safeguard. Joy protects? How can this be? Choosing to rejoice in the Lord, rather than in our circumstances, emotions, or strength provides a strong foundation for faith.
No one can rejoice for you, or for me. There are just some things that only you can do. And yet, rejoicing in the pits of life requires a dose of grace and faith–the ability to trust God with our lives and the fruit of His Spirit at work within.
Left to myself, I will sulk, complain, gripe, cry, and send out invitations to my pity party. Choosing this route only digs me deeper into the muck of my emotions.
Yet choosing to rejoice in God shows that we trust Him.
Have you noticed that it’s hard to worry and rejoice at the same time. Doubt and suspicion, those questions that nag at our faith, drown out joy faster than a bucket of water douses out a fire.
Joy is a safeguard for the soul.
Meet your resistance and your troubles with the strength of choosing to rejoice in God.
Hannah C. Hall writes, “All that wonderful stuff we sing when life feels blessed—about how good God is and how He holds us in the storms and how His love and peace and grace are sufficient even in the awful places…it is true.”
Paul writes these words, confirmining our relationship with God: You are the true circumcision. By faith, grafted into the family of God, you’re not left out or overlooked. By faith, relationship with God rests on position of grace, not successful performance or good behavior. And that’s a joy thing for sure!
So choose joy.
When you have fallen into that same issue again and again, choose to rejoice in the forgiveness of God. Remember who you are– part of God’s family, secure even when faith falters and sin sways.
When the future is uncertain and problems appear to have no answers, rest in the joy that God is faithful. When you feel alone, insecure, or without worth, hold fast to the joyful truth that God will never forsake you. Roll your cares on God–He’s enough.
Discover joy that protects and guards your soul.
5 Reasons to choose joy.
- “I have loved you with an everlasting love.–Jeremiah 31:3
- God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…–2 Corinthians 1:3
- Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. –Psalm 68:19
- “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”–Hebrews 13:5
- Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us–Ephesians 3:20
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