Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
C.S. Lewis once said,
Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Every day the Lord offers us infinite joy, but so often we settle for mud pies. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 16:11, in His presence there is fullness of joy, but some seem to have missed that joy somewhere. Some Christians are so unhappy; they’re on their way to heaven, but they’ve forgotten to tell their face. Some look like they drank pickle juice for breakfast! They wouldn’t laugh if you told em’ a knock knock joke and tickled em’ at the same time! The good news is that in Christ we can enjoy the journey, and ultimately that’s the purpose of life. He created us to know and love Him, which means resting in the life He has for us. Some people are always looking for something or someone else to make them happy other than the people and circumstances they are currently with and in. Paul reminds the church at Philippi that we must find our joy in Christ right where we are. He says to rejoice in the Lord always. Then he tells us how to enjoy the journey in Jesus.
First, he says that joy is a discipline. Rejoice in the Lord is a command, not a suggestion. So, every morning when we rise we should declare Psalm 118:24 which says, “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Joy is a choice to put God and others before myself, to lay aside my sin and selfishness and choose to rest in Jesus. Second, he says be reasonable. Conviction of our sin can lead to unhappiness. The most miserable person in the world is the Child of God living outside His will, so be reasonable. Listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of other believers. Third, he says to pray. When we pray, we are filled with the peace of God which leads us to a place of joy. Lastly, he talks about perspective. He says to set your mind on that which is true, honorable, and worth thinking about. Whenever we choose to think the worst about a situation or a person it leads to fear, worry, and anger. Some say learn to look on the bright side. It may be better side look on Christ’s side. Whenever your upset, angry, or worried just ask the Lord to let you see this from His angle.
Do you have joy? Are you resting in the love and sovereign plan of God or are you fretting over life? Choose joy. Choose to pray. Choose a heavenly perspective. When we do, as the old song says, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, today is the day that You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.