Thursday, May 1, 2014
May 1: Rejoice (Evelyn’s choice)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7 HCSB)
This verse is sung by many Sunday school children as a happy-go-lucky tune. But for jaded and skeptical adults, this command to “rejoice,” can sound simplistic when it comes to the complex and painful problems they face every day. But the fact is, it’s God’s command. And the next command is worse: “Don’t worry about anything.” How can God expect us to stop worrying? How can we be gracious to everyone when everyone is so irritating? How in the world can we be so naïve to rejoice when we know full well that so many things are going wrong? But within the obedience to God’s commands, we find power. His commands often go against everything that we think is sensible, but they always come with the fulfillment of amazing promises.
As tough as it seems, we have to choose to reject worry and rejoice ALWAYS, despite all the problems staring us in the face. It’s an exercise in faith, proven by the extreme resistance we get while trying to accomplish this. Thoughts that we’re living in a fantasy, in denial, that we’re being irresponsible and just plain ridiculous, bombard our minds. But none of that is the case when it is done based on His Word and His promise.
The promise we can anchor ourselves to, is that His supernatural peace will guide our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace of God is something of substance. It’s based on the reality that our prayers are being answered and that there is absolutely no basis for worries at all. His peace is nothing like the artificial peace people chase after through hobbies, partying, drinking or any other emotional escape. Supernatural peace is linked to answers, results of our prayers being worked out in the spiritual world and materializing in our physical world, because we acted in faith.
When we refuse to obey the simple command to rejoice and to put an end to our worry, we block supernatural peace and answers to prayer. Why would we want to block the very things we are so eager to find? For those who don’t yet know how to live by an intelligent faith based on God’s promises, and how to reject emotionalism, today is the day to begin this great journey of basing everything you do and are, on His Words!