Rejoice and Be Glad
Key Verse: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
It was a sleepless night because the car accident I had two years ago left me with daily neck and back pain. The pain was severe and I tossed and turned wondering when it would ever go away. I got up after awhile hoping to distract myself with something else. I flipped through the TV Channels and spent some time on Facebook and headed back to bed. My orthopedic pillow wasn’t helping, so I got up again to take some Aleve. The clock read 3:15 am, and I knew my alarm would be blaring in three short hours. I was frustrated, annoyed and in pain; not a winning combination for sleep.
My alarm went off while I was dreaming, so I couldn’t quite imagine what that horrible noise was. I rolled out of bed, crawled to my Keurig to make a cup of Breakfast Blend coffee. I went to my favorite chair and pulled open my Bible while I silently grumbled about how tired I was. I wondered how was I going to get through the busy day ahead while being so miserably tired.
I opened the Psalms 118 to this passage, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I had a choice to make at that moment. I could sit and grumble, complain and whine about last night, or I could look at this brand new day and rejoice in it. I could choose joy, even in pain, even in my exhausted state. I could choose joy and be glad!
Psalm 118 opens and closes with this statement, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” David, the psalmist was accostomed to beatings, persecution, discomforts of many kinds, yet he penned these words. How is it that He was able to have such a thankful attitude in the midst of his hardships? The clue comes in verse 24, “this is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” David understood the power of rejoicing and proclaiming the goodness of God. He chose joy. He chose to be glad. He didn’t allow his circumstances to dictate his mood; he simply chose to be glad.
As Christians, we wrongly believe that difficult circumstances demand we be angry, depressed, frustrated. We believe our circumstances dictate our mood. When life is going well, we present our best self, our happy, content, bubbly side. In contrast, we feel justified in our grumpy demeanor when things don’t go the way we’d like. We would do well to take a lesson from David and chose joy. Trials are temporary, but we can sense God’s goodness in the midst of them. Hardships and setbacks are allowed for our growth, so we will learn to depend on God, and other times bad stuff happens because we live in a fallen world. We are free to chose joy and be glad because God is with us and He is faithful.
Be still and know He is God. Sit quietly and still your heart and mind. Slowly read through Psalm 118:24 again. Take time to meditate on this verse. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the ways you don’t chose joy when faced with difficult circumstances.
Praise God for who He is. Spend time worshipping God for His goodness. Praise him for helping you chose joy and when you don’t feel like it.
Be thankful in all things. Thank God for everything He has done for you and be specific. Thanksgiving is the key to joy.
Repent. We all struggle with not being able to rise above our circumstances and not chose joy. It’s a skill that has to be practiced. Repent of your bad moods and your focus on your hardships.
Present your requests before God. Boldly approach God and ask Him for the things you need and want. Allow God to place the desire in your heart to chose joy.
Focus on God and listen to Him. Write down what you feel God is sharing with you. Be sure it does not contradict the Word.