Making the Choice to Rejoice
I’m repeating the “Rejoice” class, and this time I’m determined to pass the course.
After reading the requirements, I went to the Instructor. “You actually expect me to do that?”
He said, “It’s tough but…yes.” He showed me the requirements again.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).
“Okay…so…hummmm…well…gotta start somewhere…but not here. I’m in a hard place and I don’t feel like rejoicing.”
He said, “You can rejoice by choice. It’s a decision—a deliberate act of the will, independent of feeling. What happens will surprise you.”
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You:
I will sing praise to Your name, O most High.
In hard places I found myself instinctively repeating those words. Surprise! What began as a formality became a habit that flooded me with joy!
Midway through the class the Instructor made it clear God wants me to rejoice and praise Him, not because He needs it (the heavens declare His glory), but because I need it.
In situations where I find nothing to rejoice about, I rejoice in Him. Rejoicing by decision leads to genuine rejoicing.
I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart! I will be glad and rejoice in you!
I don’t expect an “A,” but I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass the class.
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned. Post adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media Association. www.diannebarker.com. Twitter: diannebarker@diannebarker12.