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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Thursday-Worth Repeating

 

Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

 

Philippians 3:1[1]

 

I can’t explain it, but it happens all the time. Each and every day it’s right there. When I wake up, I feel a certain way. But the strange thing is that my feelings are all over the place.

 

Sometimes I wake up happy. Ready to face the world. I jump up out of bed and tackle whatever’s in front of me. I’m excited about the day that’s just dawning over the horizon. My engine is running full speed and I’m rarin’ to tackle anything. I feel confident that this will be a good day, a day that the Lord has made. A day I can rejoice and be glad in it[2].

 

And then there are other days. You probably don’t know these days. I wake up in what we call “a blue funk.” I just want to pull the covers over my head and make the world go away. I feel empty inside. No energy. No excitement. I believe that the day will bring nothing but sadness, emptiness, and failure.

 

It’s into this same kind of mix of days that Paul commands the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. His strong words demand that they follow his order. It isn’t an option. There’s no opting out. It’s a required response to who God is and all he’s done for us.

 

Rejoicing isn’t supposed to be like going on vacation. For a vacation, you make plans. You schedule time away from work. You make reservations. You might even save up for it. And when the vacation arrives, you start doing things that you don’t do every other day of your life. While on vacation, you do the unusual.

 

But rejoicing’s to be part of our daily lives. It’s supposed to be as normal as breathing. We’re to build rejoicing into ourselves and our schedules. Rejoicing in the Lord is to be a normal thing.

 

We are to actively and consistently be rejoicing in the Lord. That means we are to live life with the assumption that whatever happens in this life is not only under God control but is worthy of being thankful for. If God is good[3], and he’s in control of everything[4], then there is reason to rejoice. You’ll notice that I didn’t say that everything that happens is good. Sickness isn’t good. Oppression isn’t good. Murder isn’t good. Getting hit by a car isn’t good. Someone infecting your computer with a virus isn’t good. A hacker stealing your money isn’t good.

 

When Paul says to be thankful, he’s not asking us to be passive about it. Being thankful is to take God and life seriously. It’s to do more than just mouth some words about being thankful. If it’s from God, then we can lean into it. We can accept it. Knowing that if it’s from God then it’s good. We can receive it as coming from our great and loving heavenly Father. We don’t have to evaluate it based on some are to Being thankful isn’t saying, “It was meant to be.”

 

When my wife, Mary Ann, gives me something, I lean into her and receive it with thanksgiving. I don’t pound her with a thousand questions. Where did this come from? Why are you giving it to me? Why? Because I know Mary Ann. Period. That’s all I need to know.

 

When she hands me some of her homemade cookies, I don’t have to look at who came up with the recipe. I don’t have to think about what’s in her cookies. I don’t have to inspect the ingredients. I don’t look at the Use By Date on all the different things that went into the cookies. Why? Because I know Mary Ann. And that’s all I need to know.

 

If you . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give . . . to those who ask him

 

Luke 11:13 NLT

 

That’s the way it’s supposed to be with God. When we know him, that’s all we need to know. We think that if we knew the reason why, if we had all the information that somehow, we’d be able to accept it and be thankful. We’ve convinced ourselves that if we had more knowledge, that we’d be able to understand and believe it.

 

But there’s only one way to know all the reasons behind why something happens. And that’s to be God. To properly understand why God did something, we have to be God. And I’m afraid that just ain’t gonna happen.

 

You see, even if we could fathom all mysteries and all knowledge[5] we’d still come up short. Power, prominence, position, and possessions aren’t going to do it either. Only a personal relationship with our loving heavenly Father is going to totally satisfy our soul[6]. That’s a message worth repeating.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Name three things that you keep repeating to people. To yourself. Why?

  • When it comes to being thankful, how much repeating has to happen?

  • How can we better repeat the truth of God’s loving grace to ourselves? Others?


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] Psalm 118:24

[3] Psalm 34:8

[4] Philippians 3:21

[5] 1 Corinthians 13:2

[6] Psalm 63:5

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