Sow & Gather

Joy

How Can We Rejoice in the Lord Always?

New BeginningsMarci AnthonyComment
How Can We Rejoice In The Lord Always #sowandgather #joy

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

When is the last time you did something unspeakable? Now I don’t mean something that is illegal or distasteful. I mean something that is completely out of character. Has it really been that long since you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and done something really outrageous?  

Paul wrote the book of Philippians as an encouragement and support to the church of Philippi. The relationship Paul had with the Philippian church was one of appreciation and affection. Paul’s message was for the people to keep their lives centered on Christ so they might experience true joy.   

How do you express pure joy? I guess a better question might be when is the last time you experienced pure joy? Life is not easy and there are definitely times when it is hard to smile and be happy. But when you keep your life centered on Christ and what he has done for us, it’s hard not to feel joyful.   

According to the King James Bible dictionary the word, rejoice, means to be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations; to exult. I don’t know about you but by definition the word, rejoice, appears to mean more than just a meager hand clap and smile. The act of rejoicing seems to lean more towards an exaggerated outward showing of excitement. I think we could all use a spiritual jolt of excitement every once in a while. 

So, what are you thankful for? Have you stopped to think about all that God has blessed you with? Have you rejoiced in knowing that you are a child of God and no one can take that right from you? You are forgiven and set free from sin because of Christ’s sacrifice. God’s grace and mercy are never ending. His love is overflowing. You will receive an amazing inheritance in heaven and will live for all eternity with your Creator.  

If this doesn’t make you want to get up and dance for joy singing praises to the King of Kings, then maybe your spiritual battery needs to be recharged. Rejoice in the Lord today and always. Sing His praises again and again; Rejoice! 

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 105:3; Psalm 118:24; Psalm 122:1

Action Item |

As we take time this month to reflect and give thanks, may we also take time to step out of our comfort zone when praising God. Maybe instead of saying your prayer at the dinner table, you could sing a prayer. Turn your favorite Christian music up full blast at home and dance. Sing at the top of your lungs to your favorite Christian song in the car. If you are really feeling bold, maybe you could lift your hands in the air at Sunday morning’s worship service rejoicing God while singing His praises. 

Prayer |

Oh Magnificent Creator of the Universe, my prayer this week is that I will be on fire for You. Help me to be joyful in all that I do. Allow Your passion to flow through me igniting a fire that spreads to every individual I encounter this week. I will sing your praises and rejoice in knowing that I am Yours and You are my King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen. 

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. 

Joy in Trouble

joyMarci AnthonyComment

Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy.  Psalm 43:3  (NASB) 

Recently my Sunday school class did a series on the names of God.  El Semchah Giyl translated, the God of my exceeding joy, is one of my favorites.  I found it most interesting because of where it is located.  It is smack in the middle of Psalm 43.  When I read the Psalm, I find that the author is not experiencing glad news.  In fact, he finds himself in the middle of turmoil with a group of people that he deems evil.  He is wondering why God, who had promised to be his deliverer, has not moved to bring swift justice in his cause. 

It reminded me of times in my life when I felt that perhaps God was not listening to me.  He did not swiftly move to do exactly what I wanted, and suddenly I found myself feeling confused.  He was not acting like I thought He would!  At that very moment, I began to have a great struggle within myself.  I was trying to determine if God is really who He says He is.  The problem with that is that I am looking with my human eyes and can't really see what God sees.  He is far wiser than I and still, I want Him to work like I expect Him to, not in a different way.  The Psalmist is also at that precipice.    

When I look just a couple of verses down, I see that the writer is reminding himself of who God is, even though he is struggling.  I love that he asks God to lead him in this situation even though he does not comprehend why God would let these events take place.  This movement on his part can only be a prompt from the Holy Spirit.  This tells me that even when I am confused, I must yield to God's Spirit.  I must seek Him by asking Him to lead me. 

The very next thing I see in Psalm 43 is that when I begin to yield to God, He is my exceeding joy.  Wow!  I am really overwhelmed by that because even in grueling situations, I can still have joy if I simply yield and remember that I have a God who is for me.  It may not turn out like I thought, but He will never be out of control of what is going on. 

Dig Deeper |

Hebrews 12:1-2 

Action Item |

Are you experiencing a time that seems like God has left you?  Read Psalm 43 and follow the steps laid out by the Psalmist.  Pray for God's leading, yield to His Spirit, and remind yourself of the truth of who God is. 

Prayer |

God, lead us even when we don't understand Your ways.  Restore our joy in You even in hard situations where we lack the vision that You have.  Help us to remember who You are to us.  In Jesus name, Amen. 

Join Us  

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.