07 Jan Remember to Rejoice
Philippians 3:1 – Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Our family recently lead a mission trip to Mexico to renovate a park and host a big Christmas dinner for Mexican pastors and their families. The trip was a great success and my highlight was seeing all the pastors’ kids pick out a Christmas present donated by someone at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, which we planted as a family project.
Most of the team slept in one big room on air mattresses. Without any heat, things got really cold at night. One of the pastors on the trip literally put on all the clothing he had, including his jacket, and pulled a stocking cap over his face before climbing into his sleeping bag. He slept very little but did shiver a lot. Late at night, his daughter sleeping next to him threw up…in her sister’s blanket. So, dad rushed his girl to the bathroom and cleaned off the blanket in the shower.
The next morning, he came to breakfast with a smile on his face talking about how much he was enjoying the trip. When asked why, he explained that he was grateful to be a dad, grateful to be there to help his daughter in her time of need, glad that at his home he was returning to there was a bed and heater, and more.
His circumstances were not fun, but his mindset was cheerful. It just goes to show that happiness has a lot more to do with the heart and mind in you than the people and things around you.
Everyone lives their life, but few of us actually enjoy our life. The opportunities to grab joy along the journey to the party that never ends are there every day. The problem is we get so overwhelmed at the stuff we need to get done that we run right by happiness because of busyness.
Sometimes, we have to literally just stop, take a break, catch our breath, and regain our joy. This is precisely what the Apostle Paul does while sitting in prison, of all places, to find joy. He tells us something God tells us over and over because we forget it: “rejoice in the Lord”.
You cannot get joy at Costco or have it delivered from Amazon. Nope. If you want joy, you can only find it “in the Lord”. You cannot continually make and keep yourself happy. You can access the Lord’s joy, which is constant, and share in His joy.
What do you need to do, or stop doing, to share in the joy of the Lord today?