How do you and I rejoice in the midst of sad and troubling circumstances?
Rejoice means to feel or show that you are very happy about something. How is it possible for me, as a Christian, to do that when I am experiencing physical and emotional pain due to infirmity, illness, emotional trauma, the death of a loved one or whatever the circumstance might be?
When I was growing up, one of my mother’s favorite sayings was “Because I said so!” Especially if I questioned why I was supposed to do something. She didn’t need any other reason for me to perform a chore except “Because I said so!” Obedience was expected, and obedience is what she received from me because I knew the consequences if I failed to follow her instructions. Don’t get me wrong. My mother was a kind and loving woman but like most of her generation, she expected her children to do what she asked us to do. My siblings and I had a great respect for the switch which resided on top of the refrigerator.
God is our heavenly Father, and he knows that if we heed his word, we will not have to suffer the consequences of failing to obey his word. We are who God says we are.
“Let my perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.” John 14:27
Easier said than done from a human standpoint but not from God’s view. If we believe that we are who God says we are, then “Because God says so” can become our motto. I can always rejoice because God says I should even if I don’t feel like it I don’t necessarily have to jump up and down with glee, but I am perfectly able to pray,
“Lord I thank you that you are in control no matter what things look like to me right now. I will trust you to see me through this. Thank you, Lord, for your great grace and infinite mercy.”
That short little prayer will put me, (and you) on the road to rejoicing always. It has been said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Let us begin.