Monday, 30 August 2021
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Rejoice in every circumstance!
Jesus desires us to have a joyful life. Some people believe that being a Christian is all doom and gloom and the end of “fun”. But Jesus says just the opposite.
Even when we are being afflicted, when we think that everything is terrible and going badly, Jesus tells us to rejoice. It’s extraordinary. He says that the Christian life should be one of joy. Even when life is tough—when work is dragging you under, when the people around you are persecuting you, when you are sick, when you are having financial difficulties, when you have lost your job, in every situation rejoice!
God doesn’t expect you to be happy continuously. What he’s talking about is very different from that. Happiness is a fleeting feeling, isn’t it? It depends on things happening outside of ourselves to help make us happy. Joy, however, is internal! Joy is a deep abiding contentment that is based on our relationship with Jesus—that relationship where he calls us fellow-heirs. This by itself should be an everlasting source of joy. A joy that comes from the contentment that is within us. A spring that is continually filled by our relationship with our Father.
So please, be sad if you need to be sad. Be upset if you need to be. Indeed, be mad at God if you need to be. But remember this:
You are promised the kingdom of heaven.
You will be comforted.
You will inherit the earth.
You will be satisfied when you hunger and thirst for God.
You will (you already have) receive mercy.
You will see God in all His glory.
You will (you already are) be called sons of God.
You will have a great reward in heaven.
Are not these things reason to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”?
Take some time now to reflect on the Beatitudes. Are you living this way? If not, talk to God and ask him to help you live more like he intended.
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