Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
What does the word rejoice mean? Joy is one of the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit are all independent of our feelings, although when we are going through things, it definitely doesn’t seem like it. When we have joy, it is when we focus on God’s goodness, grace, mercy, and all the things that he has blessed us with. So, when we are rejoicing, it is doing this over and over again until it gets contagious to others. Sometimes when I listen to praise music, and I bask in God, and who he is to get centered, I get so filled, that I am just beside myself, literally having worship service in my kitchen or living room. It’s not that my circumstances have changed at all, but God is using the praise music to steer my heart close to him. So even though nothing has changed, everything has changed.
When we go through trials, and unfortunately, this summer has given me my fair share, we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what Philippians 4:4 means. It isn’t going to be easy, and it hasn’t been for me. Sometimes I have to air out my feelings and tell God that I know what he says in Romans 8:28, ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”, but right now I am just upset by yet another trial. After I get it out, then I can praise him. What I notice is that when I don’t get my feelings out, then there is internal conflict, and when our emotions are split, we can’t be in the present. I also have to remind myself that God already knows my heart, and since he already knows, what better time to air my frustrations, so that I can move on. So that I can get to the rejoicing part.
I have a saying that I like to tell my kids all the time. They laugh, but it is true: Every morning we get to hit the reset button on God’s mercy.