It’s A Choice To Rejoice

The Psalmist tells us… This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). We have all sung this little song to our children or to our students…

This is the day! This is day!
That the Lord has made.
That the Lord has made.
I will rejoice! I will rejoice!
And be glad in it.
And be glad in it.

Rejoicing Regardless

If you look closely at Psalm 118:24, you’ll notice that the Psalmist did not say, “We will rejoice and be glad in it…when everything goes right.” No, he left it very open ended. “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Do you realize what this means?

This means that when you wake up every morning to start a new day, you get to make a choice. Will I rejoice or will I not rejoice?

I can already hear the brakes in our human brains screeching to a stop.

“Wait a minute? How can I make that choice in the morning when I don’t even know what kind of day I’m going to have? How can I make that choice before I see what the weather is going to be like? How can I make that choice before I check my bank account? How can I make that choice before I see how my kids are going to be when I wake them up for school, or how my spouse is going to act, or how my co-workers will behave?”

This is the terrifying and glorious thing about surrender. We don’t need all that information before we make the choice to rejoice. We already have all the information we need.

Either God’s In Control Or He Isn’t

In her book One Thousand Gifts, author Ann Voskamp brings to light a startling truth. When we do not trust God, and instead lean into worry and anxiety, we are in fact practicing atheism. Atheism is simply the belief that there is no God. There is no ruling, loving force or person guiding our lives. IF there IS a ruling, loving God guiding our lives, then what are you worrying about? Your worry literally says to the world, “I am all alone in this and it stinks.”

How can a child of God take that position? Well, we all know that we certainly get sucked into it on almost a daily basis, but the truth remains. If God is in control, there is really nothing to stress over, and we can really, truly make the choice to rejoice every day, even before we look to see what the weather will be like.

Rejoicing Is A Full Time Job

Philippians 4:4 says… Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

We should make the choice every day to rejoice, but don’t think for a second that this will come naturally or easily. Keeping your mind in a state of rejoicing is a full-time job. You must make this choice every day, every moment of every day. Obviously, there will come moments when rejoicing feels easy and it will seem that it happens automatically. You get a raise at work. You’re going to rejoice.

The real conscious effort will be when things are not going your way. The kids wake up grumpy. The spouse is barking out demands. The co-workers are shirking responsibilities. Your own heart and mind is flooded with discontentment or lack of motivation. These are the moments when you must choose.

Make A Choice

Joshua 24:15… Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

If rejoicing, trusting and praising God are literally acts of serving God, then it is only logical to admit that complaining, stressing and worrying are literally acts of serving the Devil. Let that sink in for just a minute. Every time we stress (and Jesus knows I must throw myself in that “we”) we are saying, “God you DON’T have my back. I CAN’T trust you. You are NOT in control of this situation.” In that moment Satan, not God gets the glory. You may not say these things with your words, but you are saying them with your actions and your state of mind.

So, it’s just a choice, a really hard but worthwhile choice. Joshua challenged the children of Israel, “Choose you this day, whom you will serve?” Ask yourself this question every morning and answer that question with Psalms 118:24, “This is the day the Lord hath made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.”

When things start to go off the rails and nothing is going the way you planned, that is when you sing this version of the song:

This is STILL the day! This is STILL the day!
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made
I will STILL rejoice! I will STILL rejoice!
And STILL be glad in it!
And STILL be glad in it!

Sarah Reeves

You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.

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