Always Rejoicing… Sorta
I’m very blessed to be part of a Titus 2 Bible study once a month. I wish it were weekly. This past week, we met over dinner and discussed Philippians 4:1-9.
I’m totally enjoying studying Philippians. Great book.
We were talking about rejoicing in the Lord.
One of the questions was, “What are the reasons I have to rejoice in the Lord?”
I had a bunch of reasons… Jesus came to save me and I am saved… God is working in my life… I have a certain future… I’m Jesus’ own.
But one lady said, “Why would I not rejoice?!!!”
And I thought… "Yes! Why would I not rejoice!?"
I have so much to be thankful for… so much to look forward to!
Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).
He definitely wants us to understand the concept of rejoicing.
And not just that we need to be willing to rejoice, but that we need to rejoice ALWAYS.
Because right now, I’m not feeling like rejoicing a whole lot.
I have a daughter who can’t seem to learn and a school which is absolutely not willing to help—a little girl who struggles with behavior—a lovely teenager who struggles with direction in her life—a great young man who desperately wants to know what it means to be a godly man—a soon-to-be-no-longer-a-teen son who has just lost his job. I have friends who are struggling. I have financial concerns. I have decisions to make that I have no idea how to make—what to do or which steps to take first.
I feel on the verge of tears often… out of desperation, frustration, and just plain emotion.
I know that God is going to lead me so why do I fret? And if I’m fretting, how in the world am I going to rejoice!?!
So maybe a paradigm shift in my thinking is necessary… a lifestyle change.
Right before Paul commands them to rejoice, he speaks about two ladies in the fellowship who are not getting along. I was thinking that maybe what Paul is saying is, “Don’t focus on the small stuff, the people or things that frustrate, annoy and upset you… focus on Christ and then you can’t help but rejoice! So rejoice!! Rejoice Always!!!”
If I focus on my circumstances I’m overwhelmed by them… a lot and I tend to do the exact opposite of rejoice.
BUT when I focus on Christ—who He is, what He’s done, who I am, and whose I am… I am overwhelmed by how great the Father loves me!
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God—1 John 3:1.
We can and do rejoice when our focus is on Christ.
So that list I made earlier of things that cause me to not rejoice… or maybe I should say not feel like rejoicing… is just a list of things I can give to God, entrust Him with, and allow Him to handle. There is definitely rejoicing in that!
And I can even make a different list… a list of things to rejoice over… Jesus being at the top of that list.
Written by Sue Birdseye
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