Rejoice in the Lord, and Again I Say Rejoice… Enough Already!
As I write this little piece this morning I am getting ready to go out on ministry with the Teen Challenge students. We have the privilege of sharing what the Lord is doing at various churches through song, testimony, and the Word. Sometimes this means getting up at “O-Dark-Thirty” and taking off before everyone else is even out of bed. Trust me, it is mornings like these where we learn who the morning people are and who the morning people aren’t! This got me thinking… There are so many times we no more feel like “rejoicing” than having our teeth pulled – even though it is a command. We genuinely could be having a bad day – a day where we want to pull the covers up over our heads and say “go away”! Something could have gone totally wrong. Maybe our feelings are hurt. Maybe we have experienced a genuine loss. So, how are we supposed to “rejoice” during times like those? When I hit myself with a hammer, do I glibly shout “Oh, thank you Jesus… can’t wait for my nail to drop off.”? I don’t think so. I don’t think the Lord expects us to be phony or put on some hyper-religious face. I think the Lord wants us to be honest. Yes, HONEST! If what I just said is true, how can I be honest and still rejoice during the trials I may face?
I am not saying it is easy. I think the way we are able to rejoice is by looking at things from the right perspective. Here are some ideas:
- First, let’s define rejoice: “to feel joy or great delight”. How can we find joy in dark times? To be honest, sometimes we may have to look pretty hard. The way to do this is to ask God to help us look at what is going on through His eternal perspective… We can rejoice in the fact that the trial we are facing will bring good fruit in our lives – if we surrender; if we seek God’s face.
- We can start fostering an attitude of gratitude! In the midst of the harshest of times, there is always something to be grateful for!
- Next, keep it real! Get honest with God. Cry it out to Him! “Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” If someone has hurt you – tattle to God on them! Let God know how you feel. If you don’t understand something – tell God that. If you are mad – God can deal with your anger. GET REAL! Keep it honest! In doing this, we are able to get it out of us and not stuff it down. We know we have been heard-God never turns a deaf ear – I can’t stress enough how important being heard is to us. AND… The cool thing is – we are crying it out to the One who can actually do something about it. Then…
- Ask God to give us His perspective. Ask God to help us give or receive forgiveness; walk in the grace needed to go through whatever us are going through. Look for the answers in the one true answer book: THE WORD!
- Ask God what He is trying to teach us through the trial.
- And, do the “confess your faults to one another” thing. It really works! No, don’t go telling everyone everything! But, as members of the body of Christ, we should have those we can go to to confide in. The Scripture is clear, we are to bear one another’s burdens.
- Next… get your worship on! There are incredible opportunities for healing our hearts and minds in our times of worship.
- Finally, JUST DO IT! If for no other reason than pure obedience REJOICE! I believe God will bless our obedience. I heard a quote: “Just do it and our emotions will follow.” I believe as we choose to put into practice what we know to do, our whole perspective will change!
This is the second blog I have written on rejoicing lately. I don’t know who needs this besides me, but maybe, just maybe God is trying to get my attention. So… as for me, I choose to rejoice and again I say rejoice. #praisingmyJesus