I don’t always and I’m pretty certain you don’t either. That little word ‘always’ in the Scripture is problematic. We don’t want to rejoice in the midst of stuff that’s not fun. Like Covid and being locked down and not being able to work or meet friends or see family members for example. Even harder when loved ones are sick and we can’t be with them, or we are unwell and feeling alone. Our finances may be a worry. What about those who are in places of fear and terror, possibly from war or natural disaster. So many times, when we feel sad, or desperate or alone or stressed or weary, we can find ourselves sinking into hopelessness and despair. And it can feel hypocritical or impossible even, to actually rejoice.
Yet God tell us to rejoice always!”
And this is because we forget so easily that joy is key to wellbeing. In the midst of our desperation and helplessness, we turn to God and cry out for His help and it seems like He changes nothing, yet He changes EVERYTHING by telling us to “Rejoice!”
For it is in doing so that we unlock the mystery of peace. Peace that passes all human understanding, as we appreciate that our God is in control and our God is with us in all things. As we train ourselves to rejoice in all situations, He will encourage us and lift our spirits and our eyes will be more and more on Him not on our circumstances. Nehemiah tells us:
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
I know this is true because God performs this miracle for me every day. I truly believe we can endure all things if we practise rejoicing.
Can I encourage you to start to thank God for whatever you are going through right now, and whatever you are feeling right now. See it as a way to unlock His power in your life. Confess your disappointment and whatever negative things you are feeling and then allow gratefulness for something, anything, to begin to rise. If for nothing else, you can be grateful that you have a Saviour who has died on the cross for you and who knows exactly the depths of your misery right now. Allow the gratefulness to transform into a speck of joy and start to rejoice in that joy you have found.
May you rejoice today and find wellbeing as you trust in our mighty God.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.