Its a funny thing.
People say, “Just be thankful.” “Be happy.” But sometimes life throws punches and it’s just hard. Especially when you’ve learned to “get through” life instead of taking delight in it. The Bible tells us to rejoice a lot. But, there have been times in my life I felt blind to rejoicing. I didn’t know how. And it felt very foreign.
1 Peter 4: 12-13 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (ESV, emphasis added)
There have been some moments in the suffering that I was able to rejoice, but most of the rejoicing in my life has come after the storm. Normally a “thank you for letting me live!”
I looked up “rejoice” and asked the internet what its meaning was in greek. I was looking for something deeper. (Note: I am no Bible teacher, I literally just looked up “rejoice in greek” and saw a Strong’s definition, remembering that name from Bible college.)
A few pieces of the definition popped out to me. Rejoice: leaning towards grace. Whew! Leaning in, moving closer. Another definitions “to delight in God’s grace.” Because that suffering will end, if not in this life, in Heaven.
So rejoice is not putting a silver lining on our suffering, or pretending its not there. But it is completely delighting in God’s grace towards us.
There are things in this life that do not change. God’s grace towards us. His love. His Presence. And for me His creation will never stop rejoicing in His goodness. Just go sit outside and watch the clouds go by. They are magnificent. Delight. Breathe. Take it all in. Shift your gaze.
And we can rejoice in these things even when life throws a curve.
How are you rejoicing today?