Devotional

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7.

We are just a few weeks into the new year. And with the new year comes a new slate and a new mindset to face the challenges from last year and new challenges the new year will present. We feel rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever the new year throws our way. But, just like resolutions, that take-on-the-world attitude will probably fade soon. We are already facing a tough challenge from last year and added some new ones such as the divisiveness we face as a nation.  

Learning how to rejoice in all things is the Biblical mandate, but it is not a statement, it is an exercise. It is a faith stretching exercise, one that is all about perspective. Maybe you were just laid off or had an unplanned major expense pop up out of nowhere. It is counter intuitive to think you could rejoice in those things, but that is what God command us to do.

Maybe you haven’t been hit by “hard times” but you are overwhelmed by all the small things going wrong in your life. Maybe you have too many balls in the air and the little things at work and at home with the kids has you flustered and overwhelmed. How are you supposed to rejoice?

The answer is you don’t. You rejoice in the Lord. Philippians 4:4 (ESV) says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” This command doesn’t mean to find joy in your hard time, but in the Lord during your hard times. Your hope is in God, not your marital or job status. He has a future for you, not your bank statement or your ring finger. You don’t embrace health concerns, you embrace God. Thank Him for being there and walking with you and giving you the ability to overcome the world because He “…have overcome the world.” He is also not calling me to rejoice in the overwhelming feelings I have, He is calling me to rejoice in Him.

This is how you learn how to rejoice in all things, you find yourself in Him so much that your situation doesn’t compare to His plan for you and His glory. No, it is not easy. It is easy to give into despair but God is calling you to do it. He is calling you higher, He is calling you to find your everything in Him (Acts 17:28).

Discussion Questions:

  1. What would daily life look like if we rejoiced in all things? 
  2. What can we do this week to start rejoicing in the Lord?