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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make a Decision to REJOICE

The word REJOICE is written in many scriptures.  Many times the message is clearly a directive.  
  • Do THIS.  
Other times it is a sentiment expressing how an experience felt.
  • THIS is so awesome we are going to REJOICE!  
Still other times, it is a statement of faith over circumstance.  In other words... 
  • I may not be really feeling it right now, Dear LORD but, I'm going to REJOICE in YOU, no matter what is going on here in my life.

Here is one of the 'directive verses' telling us 'when' to rejoice.
LEVITICUS 23 :40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall REJOICE before the LORD your God seven days. 
(spoken to Moses"Concerning the feasts of the LORD")
There are at least 194 passages in the BIBLE that say REJOICE (<<---- click on the link to see 194 scriptures) can you find the ones that are:
  • Directive,
  • Experience, 
  • Faith (in spite of experience).
I believe each of us has several of each kind of rejoicing in our lifetimes.  The more challenging one is the 'faith' kind.   

How do we rejoice when circumstances are challenging?

When our circumstances are not what you would normally see as a time to rejoice we must make a decision to do so in spite of our circumstance.  

We might need encouragement from our friends during this time.  We might need to recall when we saw someone expressing faith even in the face of adversity.  Do you know anyone who has ever done this? 

  • We can always speak with God.  Ask for guidance.  
  • Express our challenge and give it to HIM to help us with it.
  • Sometimes we need to recall our previous challenges, how we overcame them and become inspired again.  
Don't let yourself be fooled by thoughts that you have "always" had this challenge.  

You may have had similar situations (and it might seem like you have returned -- which can falsely say you have never had victory).  The truth is: 
  • You HAVE HAD VICTORY and 
  • You will have VICTORY AGAIN.

Sometimes things feel a bit like problems of the past for a couple of reasons:
  1. The 'problem area' is at a new level of resolution (we grow and we are able to fine tune even more over time)
  2. We are on the way back:
  • When we have wandered off the path, while getting back to the path we want to return to, we might walk through some of the dark places we went through getting where we left off.
This process is a bit like traveling from your house to a new town.  If you get off at the wrong intersection.  You might:
  • Go down the road a while.  
  • Hit a few pot holes.  
  • Then when you realize you are on the wrong road you turn around and head back to the highway.  
  • You will go through those pot holes again.  
If you realize they are going to be there, you just go on and get back on track sooner.  

But, if you didn't expect them, you might be falsely informed and believe you are still going the wrong direction.

There are Enemies: Mistaken Beliefs Tops Them ALL!!

2 CHRONICLES 20 :27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to REJOICE over their enemies.

  • Rejoice over their enemies...
This may be another challenge we could use an example of.  There are many examples in the Bible showing us how to choose to rejoice in adversity.  Some of the most powerful examples are TODAY  from people we know from church or work.  People who we have met during challenges in our lives.

I remember being in the hospital while a dear friend and elder of the fellowship was in the process of transitioning into Heaven.  For several days he was surrounded by family and friends.  Each one carrying a challenge in the face of impending loss.  Most were holding tightly to a little faith -- in the 'mustard seed' sense.  They were sharing the wisdom he had taught with each other.  Each story was shared with the friends and as people were saying good bye to him.  Discussing how he had shared his time with each of them helped them to rejoice and to show him how much he had blessed each of them.  

The stories they shared began to reveal how greatly he had touched the fellowship with his time and generous spirit.

The 'little faith' each had, began to become a stronger faith, as each person became closer to each other.  They were Rejoicing in the face of loss.  They were healing with the help of each other, the WORD, and the example of the elder.

We might think 'loss' is our enemy.  We have a choice in this.  When we choose to rejoice we can then find a way to make that decision happen.

It might take time, but, the choice points us in the right direction and then the fellowship, the WORD, and the examples we seek are revealed to us.

So...Today I choose to REJOICE regardless of what circumstances reveal.  I choose to rejoice and I will take the actions to make a 'little faith' stronger in being involved in the WORD, the fellowship, and finding and/or becoming an example. 

How?  PSALM 40 :16 Let all those that seek thee REJOICE and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Perhaps the first step is making a decision and the second step is reading the instructions ♥ 
The LORD be magnified,
Deb Bryan


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