Rejoicing Is a Choice

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NIV.

You can choose to make any day a Sabbath experience.

My thoughts and comments today are that “rejoicing is a choice.”

Emotions! What would you do without them? Without emotion, life would be without color or definition. Yet without direction and discipline, those same emotions will wreak havoc. At any given moment, your emotions are either a choice or a reaction. You do not choose, nor can you control, what will happen in your day; however, you must choose how you will respond. Be prepared. Solomon offers a good reminder, “You do not know what a day will bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 NKJV. Happiness should not relate to happenstance.

You will have good and bad days, happy and sad days, helpful and hurtful days, pressured and care-free days. Addressing this assortment of life experiences, Solomon gave wise counsel when he wrote, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven . . [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has set eternity in the hearts of men . .” Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8/11 NIV. Solomon packages the diversity of life experiences within the larger context of eternity and the overarching capability of God to bring beauty into any season or circumstance.

In this [an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you] you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials . .” Read 1 Peter 1:3-14 NIV. Exactly in the context of suffering, grief, and trials, Peter writes of “inexpressible and glorious joy.” Without a broader, spiritual context for your life, emotions will be rampant – unrestrained and unpredictable.

The most ordinary or difficult of days should be celebrated with the perspective of the Lord’s presence and providence, as David encouraged, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NIV. Read the surrounding context of this Psalm. The words of the Psalmist are not a casual detachment from life’s realities. David’s simple declaration is his response, not to the most tranquil of times, but in the most troubling – personal anguish, swarming enemies, feeling surrounded, searching for refuge, yet finding God in the midst of it all and every reason to rejoice. Such days are when you rejoice, not why. Your rejoicing is because, “the Lord made the day.”

What should you do on your worst day? “Rejoice and be glad in it.” Paul instructed, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! . . Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Philippians 4:4/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV. You can choose to make any day a Sabbath experience.

A Sabbath experience reveres God’s sovereignty in daily life, rests in His sufficient providence, and recognizes that God is the author of this day and every other, whatever the source or challenge of its present circumstance. The nature of any day should not determine the joy of your embrace of that day; every day provides you opportunity to respond in joyous faith and thanksgiving to God, rather than react in doubt or despair to its situations.

My prayer for you today is that you will rejoice in God regardless of present circumstance.