Rejoice in the Lord. Do you ever struggle with that? I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit that right now I’m feeling like we’re walking in the wilderness. Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? That’s when rejoicing in the Lord gets really hard.
Today, as I was praying, I reminded myself of all of the prayers God had answered in the past. He HAS answered many prayers. But in the here and now, when I’m praying for miracles – you know the kind – the impossible, only God can do them life changing miracles – and I’m not seeing them answered yet…that’s when faith and hope collide. Or maybe they miss each other in the dark.
And rejoicing in the Lord becomes nearly impossible.
That’s where I am in life right now. It’s a difficult place. It’s a place of wanting to know. Wanting to see. Wanting a glimpse of God at work.
But sometimes God works in the silence. Sometimes He’s busiest when the lights go out and hope hangs by a thread. When we fall into the pit and can’t crawl out. When we’re praying for rescue and no one comes.
Like Paul and Silas who sang in a jail cell, that’s rejoicing in the hard times. I’m not very good at that. Can you relate?
I’m pretty good at smiling and persevering, but I’m a serious person and don’t always see a very full glass. But maybe the glass half empty is really not a bad thing, because when we are empty, God can fill us, yes?
If I come to Him with hands full of all the things I want, there is nothing He can fill because I’m already filled up with stuff. I’m “happy” in “things”. But those “things” don’t last. I can’t rejoice in what is passing away.
I find the greatest joy when I hear good news. When I see relationships thrive. When family and friends are in love with Jesus. When people are walking in truth. When I’m listening to God and hearing His voice tell me, “I’ve got this. It’s going to work for your good.”
Sometimes that means offering a sacrifice of praise, of rejoicing in THE LORD, in who Jesus is and what He’s done ALREADY, and what He can do, and only He can do in the future. And trust me, for me, that is one of the hardest things to do. To be grateful for what is not yet. To thank Him for what will be.
It means I have to trust that He knows best and His timing is never wrong. It means that I believe He CAN do the impossible, even when I’m sure my world is falling apart.
Rejoice in the Lord, Beloved. We can do this. It takes a little faith, but that little faith leads to a little hope, and that hope leads to a full-blown trust. Rejoicing in Him even when we cannot yet see Him or touch Him or feel Him or know that He’s at work. Trusting that He can and He WILL keep His promises.
Rejoice. It’s the one thing that keeps us grateful and gratitude always enhances faith.
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