“Rejoice always.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Exploring the basics of God’s will for our lives finds us starting with one simple word – rejoice. It is an odd starting place. We usually reserve joy for the end. We see it as a benefit we can look forward to at the conclusion, rather than an investment we are called to make at the beginning. The truth is that rejoicing is a catalyst for everything God wants to do in our lives.
Rejoice is a verb. That means that it is an action word. That is important for me to remember because it reminds me that within every action I have a decision to make. When I believe that joy comes at the end, I let my circumstances filter my vision. A “good” day means I have joy. A “bad” day means no joy. This essential command to rejoice turns the tables. Joy becomes the starting point, the lens through which we meet every circumstance, walk through every struggle, pick up every piece, and answer every challenge.
The root of this word gives us the clue we need to make rejoicing a reality in our days. Rejoicing finds its foundation in the decision to “enjoy the possession of.” Every day, I get to catalog the treasures that are mine because of Jesus – grace, hope, peace, protection, power, forgiveness, guidance, love, value, and wonder. These possessions don’t mean that I skip through my day oblivious to the heartache and struggle that comes my way. Rather, rejoicing gives me a way to live in God’s will and walk in His love through those difficulties. No matter the wreckage, the brokenness, the tears, the pain, the ordinariness, or the weariness of my day, no one can take away what God has given to me. And the most important possession He has given me is Himself.
My Jesus Resolution today is to rejoice. I will face hard things today. A decision to rejoice is a choice to invest myself in His presence no matter where I stand or what I face. It sets my heart in the realities of eternity, allowing me to see the moment for what it truly is. It reminds me to begin by securing my soul in what is mine because of Jesus, to enjoy Him, and hold onto Him. Today, I am not going to wait for joy to show up. I am going to begin by rejoicing and let His joy take hold of me.