September 21, 2018 · 6:08 AM
If you grew up in church, you’ve heard the phrase, “Rejoice in the Lord.” You’re probably not sure what it is, how to do it or why, but the Bible consistently tells us to do it. It simply means to find your contentment in the Lord no matter what you’re going through. I believe it’s one of the greatest tools God gave us to fight with when the enemy attacks your mind. His goal is not to get you to worship him as much as it is to create discontentment between you and God. If he can get you to blame God for the bad things in your life, then you won’t rejoice in the Lord. Paul said it best in Philippians 4:12, “I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content” (GNT).
You don’t have to pretend that you like your situation to rejoice in the Lord. You have to recognize that all things work together for your good, and that God can use anything to develop and grow you. There is purpose in pain, strength in struggles and peace in the unknown when you’re content with God. To rejoice in the Lord during those times, I play praise and worship music constantly and I spend time praying and reading the Bible. That helps me to focus on God instead of my problems, and that strengthens my relationship with Him. It’s not easy to rejoice in the Lord sometimes, but it is necessary.
Here are some Bible verses on rejoicing.
1. Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice!
PHILIPPIANS 4:4 AMP
2. My beloved ones, don’t ever limit your joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus! I don’t mind repeating what I’ve already written you because it protects you.
Philippians 3:1 TPT
3. I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love. You see my suffering; you know my trouble.
Psalm 31:7 GNT
4. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.
1 PETER 4:13 AMP
5. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
Habakkuk 3:18 NLT
Photo by Lukas Bornhauser on Unsplash
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August 26, 2013 · 8:09 AM
Yesterday morning I was meeting with my accountability partner. I was sharing some areas of discontentment in my life with him where I thought I would have been further along by now. A year ago, things were moving rapidly in my life towards my goals. Now, they seem to have slowed to a crawl. It’s frustrating to be moving so quickly towards a God-given dream and then have it screech to a halt with no explanation.
As I was talking, the stories of Saul’s and David’s ascension to the throne came to mind. For Saul, he had no idea the leaders of Israel were asking Samuel to tell God they wanted a king instead of a prophet. He was out looking for some lost donkeys. After several days of looking and running out of food, his servant remembered there was a prophet in a nearby town. Maybe he could tell them where the donkeys were.
When they arrived, Samuel immediately knew that Saul was the man chosen by God to be king. He invited him to dinner with the elders and also let him know the donkeys had been found. The next day, Samuel told him he would be king and to go wait for him in another town. There Samuel anointed him king in front of everyone, but not everyone thought he was a good pick. A month later, he led Israel into battle and was victorious. The doubters went away.
David, on the other hand, was watching sheep when Samuel anointed him to be king. He didn’t become king a month later either. In fact, it was around 15 years that he had to wait. During that time, God was preparing him for the throne. He still had to watch sheep and do his daily duties. He still had to serve his brothers when they went off to war. Even though he and his family knew he was destined to be king, he still held his position and did his job faithfully while waiting.
I imagine he had to go through times of discontentment too. He had to wonder if the prophet was right. He had to think, “What am I doing out here watching sheep in this kind of weather?” He didn’t let those things get in the way of what God was doing in him as he was being prepared for the throne. He didn’t think he was above the menial job of watching the sheep which had been assigned to him because he was the youngest. He used that time to grow closer to God and to learn how to care for God’s sheep.
It was at this point that my accountability partner looked me square in the eyes and said, “You know, discipline is doing what you don’t want to do right now because you know what results it will bring in the future.” Those words went straight to my heart and challenged me. David was disciplined enough to watch sheep even though he was supposed to be king. The discipline God created in him during that time helped him to be the greatest king he could have been. Whereas Saul lacked the discipline required to be king and that cost him the throne.
If having discipline were easy, everyone would have it. Instead, few of us are able to endure the menial things in our life right now to have the strength needed in the future. We’d rather be given a great future without having to do the work in the present. We want the throne without the waiting. I’ve resolved to watch sheep as long as God sees fit. I’d rather He build the discipline in me now so I don’t fall later. I’m willing to put in the work now, so I can be effective when God says, “It’s time.”
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