Time for Joy
Rejoice always. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16
If you’re waiting for everything in life to be perfect in order to begin rejoicing, then here’s a rather disappointing spoiler alert: life will never be all sunshine and roses; thorns and clouds will always make an appearance. Jesus said it this way,
In this world you will have trouble. — John 16:33
Though it may not seem so at first, this is actually good news. We don’t have to wake up each day and examine our current circumstances before choosing to live joyfully.
Every moment of every day is the perfect time to rejoice.
Paul, the same one who taught us to be content in every circumstance (Philippians 4:12), instructs us to rejoice in every circumstance as well.
Christ died so that we could live joyfully; let’s embrace it. Let’s rejoice when the load seems heavy because we know we don’t bear it alone. Let’s rejoice when there’s more month than money because we know our God provides. Let’s rejoice, well, always.
Thank You, Lord, that my joy is not dependent on any person or circumstance. Now is the right time to begin living joyfully.
Joy in Pain
Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?
Poor Job. The devil had secured God’s permission to test Job’s faith, as long as he didn’t kill Job. So he — probably gleefully — attacked Job with every weapon in his arsenal. Job, however, had great faith; he knew that the Lord was greater, wiser, and mightier than Satan. And Job persevered.
In the book of Job, it’s made very clear that Job was enduring horrendous pain, both physical and emotional. Through it all, he questioned God and cried out to Him, struggling to understand what was happening to him. Ultimately he submitted to God’s sovereignty and “[repented] in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
Although it sounds impossible, we, too, can have even a thread of trust in God — and therefore joy.
The joy of the Lord isn’t a fleeting thing that disappears as soon as trials come. On the contrary, if we cling to the Lord, He’ll remain with us. And His joy can be our strength.
Thank You, Lord, that in times of trials and physical or emotional pain, we can receive strength, and even joy, from You.
Excerpted with permission from 365 Devotions for Living Joyfully, copyright Zondervan.
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Right now is the perfect time to rejoice! Whether you’re in a terrific season or a terribly painful one, the joy of the Lord is your strength. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily