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How To Rejoice: A Lesson From The Psalms

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Faith's Firm Foundation: How To Rejoice: A Lesson From The Psalms

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How To Rejoice: A Lesson From The Psalms

"Make thy face to shine upon thy servant:
save me for thy mercies' sake."
Psalm 31:16
Today the sun is shining brightly!  What a difference that makes in my mood!  I'm reminded that the spiritual equivalent of the sun is the SON!  Jesus Christ, (and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit--for they are one) is the sunshine that I need every day, shining on my face.  The sunshine outside affects my mood partly because I receive vitamin D from it.  I don't have to know all the intricacies of vitamins and sunshine's role in my emotional and physical health to enjoy the benefits of it shining on my face. And I don't have to understand how it's going to help before I obey the Lord's instructions to me throughout His Word to look to Him in the morning, praise Him, rejoice in Him, and be glad.  As the saying goes, "Just Do It."

Recently, I was home alone from church, feeling a little under the weather, and I was trying to catch up in my scheduled Bible reading.  I read Psalm 26-40 and was suddenly struck by the frequent command in Psalms to rejoice!  And be glad!
"Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous:  for praise is comely for the upright."  Psalm 33:1
"Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, ye righteous:  and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart." Psalm 32:11
Now, what if I don't feel glad?  What if I'm feeling a bit blue?  What if I'm feeling downright depressed, in fact?  It doesn't seem to matter much to the Lord.  Over and over in Psalms He commands us to rejoice, be glad and sing praises to His Name!

Since, within these same psalms, there is often a dreadful description of horrible happenings which the psalmist is bemoaning, I  can only surmise that God is not saying that I should wait to be glad and rejoice until everything is going smoothly, and I'm feeling "hunky-dory" again.

So, if I'm not supposed to wait until I feel happy to rejoice, my thoughts continued, "How do I obey this command?  How does one say, 'Ok, I'm going to start rejoicing now!'  How does one begin to rejoice?"

Wondering how to begin, and feeling a little foolish, for surely there are a multitude of things over which to rejoice, I felt God's presence suddenly. As though He was looking at me, gently but sadly quizzical. "You're having trouble beginning to rejoice?  You can't think of anything?" "Well, no, Lord, that's not it. Not really." So, thinking of it from His perspective, I began by recalling all the rich realities in the heavenly realm which God would consider worthy of my rejoicing over.

I began to pray, "God, You created me, You love me, You sent Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me.  I don't deserve any of it.  I'm going to go to heaven and be with You because of Your sacrifice..."

From there it was easy to begin thanking Him for my many earthly blessings.

"Thank You for my husband: He loves You, and gets up very early every day to study Your Word, he provides for us, he takes care of things around the house--like fixing my dishwasher and the car when they don't work.  He cares about the condition of our home and works to make it look nice--he raked the acre of grass just last week. And thank You for the children you've given me: my two children are wonderful, they love You, Lord, they are responsible, they make us proud, they want to do what's right, they help us so much, they're funny and kind and fun to have around.  And thank you for my home and, and, and......"

And you know what?  As I remembered His marvelous goodness to me, I recognized true gladness in my spirit and emotions!  And I rejoiced and was glad in the Lord!

The Son is shining brightly today!  What a difference that makes in my mood! 

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