You want to be joyful and celebrate…but you’re just not feeling it today. Life is overwhelming. Life is blah. Life is hard. You’re tired and weary. You’re empty. How do you find joy and celebrate the day?
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.— Psalm 118:24
Scripture instructs us to be joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)…even in the midst of difficulties. James 1:2 exhorts us to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds because it is producing something of worth in us.
How do we experience the joy that surpasses our circumstances and feelings?
God allows trials and hardships in our lives so we might come to Him, rely upon Him and experience His presence. (2 Corinthians 1:8). We were created for fellowship with God Almighty, the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and All Powerful One. His presence is splendid, glorious, and intoxicating!
We can live daily without experiencing the joy and strength found in the presence of the Lord. It’s a CHOICE we make. It’s all about the perspective we choose. We can choose to celebrate the day —the day that the Lord has made and ordained —resting and trusting in His presence. This brings joy. Or we can choose to fret, fear and be frustrated.
I love the encouragement and exhortation we find in Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Looking to Jesus! The word in the original language for looking to is one of my favorite word pictures. The word is aphoraō and means to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.
When life is hard and joy seems impossible, we change our perspective and attitude by “looking to Jesus”.
When I look to Jesus, I have to take my eyes off other things! I fix my eyes on Him. When He becomes my focus, it changes my perspective, regardless of the situation.
It’s up to you…how will you CHOOSE to spend this day? Where will you CHOOSE to fix your gaze?
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.—Psalm 90:14
Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God is your joy regardless of how you’re feeling or what you’re facing! Get out in God’s creation and look up and around you. Rejoice and praise Him for all He has made for you to enjoy!
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on and praise our amazing God! We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com