Do I always rejoice? Am I continually thankful for what comes my way — always? That’s easy to answer: No! Should I be? Yes! The Apostle Paul, inspired by God, writes in the book of Philippians that I should be content in whatever life circumstances come my way.
I tend to be more on the side of: why me? Why now of all times — haven’t I got enough on my agenda already? Sarah Young, who wrote Jesus Calling, says this “Bring your moments to Me, and I will fill them with vibrant Joy. Now is the time to rejoice in My Presence!”
It doesn’t say to rejoice as soon as my body heals, or when I get a job, a newer car or house. Or when my child isn’t in trouble at school. “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! (The Message)
There are no options in that clear statement. All day and every day. Even the ones that stink and reek of loneliness, heartache, pain, or even boredom.
What should I do instead of wallowing in self-pity? I do have healthy alternatives that I can consciously focus on such as:
- Pray to God. Tell him my sorrow and concerns.
- Refuse to linger on the negatives, instead, think on positive things:
- Whatever is true
- Whatever is noble
- Whatever is right or reputable
- Whatever is pure and authentic
- Whatever is lovely
- Whatever is admirable
- Whatever is excellent or praiseworthy
Result: the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:4). And isn’t that what we all long and hope for in this world … internal peace and contentment with God.
Dear God, thank you for the reminder that you care enough to be there when I need you most. You are always near to me and close enough to answer my prayers. You are real. My fantasies are unreal and futile. Focus my thoughts and energy on constructive positives. I rejoice in the countless blessings you’ve given. You are all I really need. You offer Life, Joy, Peace and Contentment. No one or nothing else can fully satisfy!
Do you feel like your world is upside down? That you don’t have a grasp on reality? Do you find yourself fantasizing about how your life could be more perfect or happy?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds” — Philippians 4:4–7.