(1 Thess. 5:16)
A doctor once remarked, “The most dangerous disease in the world is unhappiness. It spreads chaos in the mind and soul and in one’s relationships, but in one’s body as well. It probably causes more sickness than any other thing.” This is not what God desires for us:
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
These popular verses suggest that if we are not redeemed from unhappiness, we are not fully redeemed. Too many Christians think they must wait for heaven before they can become a joyful person. Yet, Paul tells Timothy to instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Tim. 6:17)
The truth is that all the joys of life are readily available to all those who are in Christ. Granted, some circumstances can quickly rob you of your joy, but only if you let them. It all depends on the attitude you have decided to adopt. If you walk by sight, you will be a slave of your circumstances. You will continually be looking for relief from your troubles. You will be up on day and down the next, and you won’t be fun to be around.
AS I SEE IT
God’s great desire for His children is holiness, not happiness, Yet, the more we become one with Christ and allow Him to live out His holy life through us, the more His joy becomes our joy (John 15:11) and the more His strength becomes our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It is Christ in us that finally brings the joy that has alluded us for so long, even in the midst of our trials (James 1:2). Rejoice always? Yes, always, especially when you don’t feel like rejoicing.
This is where we all need a lot of help. This has to be learned and practiced, and it has to be based on truth, not our feelings. To be set free from our circumstances, we must embrace the truth of our circumstances. We must learn to see them from God’s perspective. The truth is that God is in the midst of everything that He has allowed into our lives. He wasn’t surprised by what happened to you. He knew exactly what you would be going through. His goal wasn’t to make it go away. His plan was to use it to reveal Himself to you in a way you would never forget.
If you will look for Him in the midst of your pain, you will see that He is building perseverance in you. As you allow Him to do so, your character will be molded into a trustworthy overcomer. When you begin to experience the reality of this, you will develop an attitude of hope. You can sense that God is doing a mighty work in you—a work that would never have happened if He simply made your difficulties go away. Check out Romans 5:3-5. All this is part of God’s plan for you.
This is how you can rejoice always. A walk of faith trusts in what God is doing in our trials. A walk of faith trusts in God’s goodness for us at all times. Then, as we study God’s word, we learn of what awaits us. It will be more than worth all the pain. The more we learn, the more reasons we discover to rejoice always.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What if they had last names in the days of the prophets, and the last name of Amos was Keeto. Then one of the minor prophets would have been Amos Keeto. While Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, Amos would probably be called the pesky blood-sucking prophet.
Inclusion of photographs and/or images in no way implies the endorsement of this blog or its information by the photographer or designer.