Rejoice?  Really ….?

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I find I am still craving peace in my life.  I know it should be there.  Yet, I struggle to find it.

Searching Scripture I found Philippians 4:4-9.  (Not exactly a new find.) 

I’m sure most of you have read it many, many times.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

It’s all right there.

The prescription for peace.

But … it takes action on my part.

As I understand it, I am called to:

Rejoice

Have a gentle spirit. (Mine is more like a wild boar!)

Deal with anxiety by giving it to God

Pray with thanksgiving

Think on the following types of things:  True, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good repute, excellence, and praise worthy .

Practice what I am learning. 

I can see where I am falling short on all of these.  

So, I decided to delve into a study of these topics - the first being “rejoice.”

I have felt that, after the losses of the past years, that there is really little to rejoice in.  I mean, really?  Rejoice?  I’d rather cry over them all.

After a search of Scripture, I found all of the following things that I can rejoice over.  It’s a much longer list than I expected - and this is a longer post than I anticipated.  But, here is what I found.

I can rejoice because I have God’s word.

I can rejoice that I have enough to share - even if it is simply kindness.

I can rejoice that God is good.

I can rejoice in my salvation.

I can rejoice that my name is written in heaven.

I can rejoice in His presence.

I can rejoice that I have sought - and found - God.

I can rejoice that God cares about me.

I can rejoice that He is trustworthy.

I can rejoice that He IS!

I can rejoice in a new day - new opportunities for Him.

I can rejoice because I was rejoiced over!

I can rejoice in Christ.

I can rejoice that I am HIS.

I can rejoice in His creation.  

I can rejoice in Jerusalem’s creation.

I can rejoice in the encouragement I receive from others.

I can rejoice that my trials are strengthening me … (hard one.)

I can rejoice that I am now a friend of God.

I can rejoice in my confident hope in Him.

Lastly, I can rejoice in my sufferings, when they bring others closer to God.

I challenge you to go through that list (I’ve attached a PDF with verses for each statement that you can download), and find at least one reason that you are able to rejoice.  

Here.  

Now.

I was blown away by this mini-study.  

This isn’t even starting to look at the rest of the verses in Philippians - just at what we have to rejoice over, and my attitude is markedly different than before I began my search.

There is, indeed, MUCH for me to rejoice over, even though I am besieged by challenges. 

I choose, today, to claim the things I can rejoice over, rather than focus on all my losses.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying, “Just for today …”

Well, just for today, my goal is to rejoice.

Anyone else up to the challenge?

 © deni weber 2010-2015