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 everything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. – Philippians 4:5-8
No matter what may be going on in your life today, you can choose to “rejoice in the Lord.”
Are your thoughts focused on your problems or are they fixed on God’s goodness? Are your lips complaining or are they glorifying God? This is a conscious choice. Are you struggling with anxiety? Fix your eyes on Jesus. And in everything give thanks. Whatever you need, whatever you are struggling with… present your request to God… with thanksgiving. If we practice this, God promises that we will have a peace that passes understanding. He doesn’t promise that we wont ever be sick, or feel pain, or face loss. He doesn’t promise to remove us from the struggle we are in. He promises to give us a peace through the struggle. This kind of peace can overcome adversity and pain, and loss, and heartache. It is a peace that transcends all understanding. And it is this peace that will guard our hearts and our minds. We have a very real enemy who is constantly firing lies at us: thoughts that seem to appear from nowhere… “you can’t make it through this… God doesn’t love you… just give up… it’ ok to dabble in this sin… no one will ever know… you’ve gone too far - God won’t forgive you… you are worthless.” These lies lead to confusion, depression, and hopelessness. They are from an enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. But in EPHESIANS 6:16 we are told to take up the shield of faith to quench these lies, these fiery darts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are told to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” So, make a choice today to “rejoice in the Lord.” Declare his goodness, his mercy, his kindness, his love, his steadfastness. Declare Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord! When the world around us is falling to pieces… because they have bought into the lies of the enemy… we look up and behold… God is good. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His mercies are new every morning. His love is everlasting. He is near. He is not far away. He is Emanuel “God with us.” Rejoice in the Lord! Again I say rejoice!