Why Be Joyful?
Why Be Joyful?
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
One of the most consistent and nagging questions we encounter in our life is the question, "Why?" Almost no other question has us bothered, frustrated, or made us angrier at times, than the question, "Why?" It’s usually one of the first questions a young child asked to their parents or older adult, and they tried to answer our questions the best they could, before saying, "I don’t know," or "Because I said so." I used to think that last answer was unfair. I thought that you should always explain to the child what the reasons are. Then one day, I had my own kids. 😉
When we became adults, even though we gained more knowledge in many things, we still struggle with that one question, "Why?" The only difference is, our questions became more complex, more complicated, more frustrating.
"Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?" "Why are prices so high?" "Why did he act like that?" "Why don’t we ever talk anymore?" "Why don’t you love me anymore?" Unlike when we were kids, we can’t always go to our parents to get all the answers any more. How many of us have said, "When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask Jesus why He said this in the Bible."
Some of us have asked, "God, if you’re so powerful, why did you let my mother die?" "Why is there so much pain and illness?" "Why does the evil prosper, while the righteous suffer?" Why, why, why? And the answers are slow in coming. I believe the day will come when God will answer all our questions. But, why can’t we get the answers now?
While I was thinking about this, the Lord led me to consider the apostle Paul and his life. When Paul wrote many of his letters, he was in prison and possibly facing execution. Yet, with possibly the end of his life drawing near, all Paul could think of was joy.
I can’t give you the answers to the question, "why?" The Lord didn’t reveal that to me. What He did reveal to me was how and why you can be joyful, regardless of the circumstances. Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. This means to rejoice in Him regardless of our circumstances, whether good or bad.
Why, Paul? Why do I need to rejoice all the time, especially when it looks like my world is falling apart? What do I have to rejoice about?
Well, I’ll give you three reasons why you should rejoice.
Number 1. Because of what He has done. If you can’t think of anything to rejoice about right now, perhaps you should reflect on what the Lord has brought you through, and where he’s taken you from. Next time we see someone who’s down on his luck, a man who’s dying for just one more drink, that woman in a bad relationship, or remember that person who’s angry at everyone and everything, we should fall on our knees and thank God, because once upon a time, that might have been us! Jesus has taken away your sins once and for all, cleaned you up, and made you a son or daughter of God. That alone should be a reason to shout for joy!
Number 2. The Second reason you should rejoice, is because of what He’s doing for you right now. Regardless of whether you realize it or not, God has given you innumerous blessings. And right now, He’s preparing you for many more blessings. Every day, God is drawing you closer, making you more like Jesus. He’s not through with you yet.
Number 3. To go along with Number 2, Because of what He will do. Philippians 1:6 tell us that "He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." If you think that God hasn’t done enough for you, you haven’t seen anything yet!
The joy of the Lord is not based on outside circumstances. Happiness is based on outside conditions. Happiness is an emotion. Anybody can be happy. Lottery winners are happy. Happiness is also temporary. Joy is an attitude. No matter what Paul went through, he was always joyful, because wherever he went, God was with him. It’s the same for us as well.
He’s patiently waiting, standing at the door of your heart so you can let him in. Jesus can give you joy, he can give you rest, he can give you peace.
Have a blessed day!