When You Don't Feel Like Rejoicing

The half-brother of Jesus, James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”(James 1:2-3) When trials and tribulations come our way, the natural reaction is to complain. The supernatural response is to rejoice. You may be thinking: It is not normal to rejoice in the midst of suffering. True, indeed. However, let me remind you that as followers of Jesus Christ we are not supposed to live normally. We live differently. We are going in a different direction than most people; we are marching to the beat of a different drummer. We are to be different!

You may object, “Well, I don’t feel like rejoicing.” I get it. But understand this: The Christian life is not driven by feelings; it is driven by faith. You do not have to feel something before you are obedient to God. The shortest verse in the Bible is not “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). It is “Rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16). In the Greek, it is only one word. That makes it the shortest and it is in the imperative. God’s Word commands us to rejoice, whether we feel like it or not!

When we obey this command to rejoice, we discover something important about our spiritual life. As the Bible says, “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3 KJV). This is where we meet God. When we encounter God in worship, we are blessed! The psalmist said, “You will fill me with joy in your presence” (Psalm 16:11). Think about that for a moment. Just the thought of it, doesn’t it make you feel better? It does me; I bet it does you, too. Here is a principle you would want to know: You cannot feel your way into a blessing, but you can often bless your way into a feeling!

So no matter what you are going through, find reasons to rejoice in your Lord. If you do, I am pretty sure you will feel better…

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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