Sunday, November 27, 2022

Rejoice Always 11.27.22

 1 Thess 5

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This post's purpose is to shed further light on the command receive above to rejoice always.  What has the Spirit revealed about this command?  It goes deeper than this servant originally thought.  The command seems great and not too difficult when things are going reasonably well but the tough question arises over and over, "how do we rejoice when things get bad?"

Life is a series of mountain top and valley experiences.  The valley experiences are a bit more frequent than most of us would like and when we are in these valleys how do we deal with it?  We are told to "rejoice always" which means yes, we are commanded to rejoice even when the circumstances around us leave us feeling like we have been punched in the gut and left for dead.  So obviously feelings will be no help for us in the valleys.  We are not being told to rejoice that something bad happened to us either, that is nonsensical.  

So, if there is nothing in our immediate environment that supports rejoicing, how do we do this?  It requires some advanced processing power that can only be accomplished by true believers.  Why is that?  It will require real faith.  And why is that?  Because in order to rejoice in trials and tribulations it will require us to shift our focus as an act of our will off of our immediate circumstances and surroundings and onto the promises, power and presence of the Lord God.  This shifting of focus onto the promises, power and presence will require real faith.  What we are doing in this process is practicing being less like a human and more like the Lord our God.  We are shifting our focus from the temporal to the eternal.  We are shifting our focus from things that can be shaken to things that cannot be shaken.

Why is this important^^?  When everything is taken away in a situation where a Christian is unjustly persecuted and maybe imprisoned the only thing left that cannot be taken away are 1.  the ability to respond to the situation according to faith and not feelings and 2. the promises, power and presence of God.  This is the key to being able to rejoice always, even in the worst circumstances.  

So, in these valley experiences where our feelings betray us our willpower and discipline has to kick in to do what must be done.  The mention of willpower and discipline should be our first clue that this will not always be easy.  So once we have embraced what must be done so that we actually do it there are some secondary effects that kick in that will benefit us.  Obviously doing what we were told to do is a good thing in itself, it is obedience to the command.  But what else happens?  There are real physical, emotional and spiritual secondary effects that will impose themselves on the trial or tribulation.  Effects like what?  Like this:

A Japanese scientist named Masaru Emoto discovered that water has memory.  You can see how the water physically changes its structure as it is exposed to various human stimuli.  By extension we can lay hold of the fact that "forced" rejoicing or shall we say disciplined willful rejoicing as a result of faith and not feelings will result in structural, physical changes to our environment.  In the case of the water above, why is it important?  The average human body is composed of 60% water.  Individual components of the body like the brain are up to 75% water.  

This rabbit hole definitely goes deeper but the content of this post should be enough to chew on for quite awhile.  The Lord God is good.  When He tells us to do something, there is always a really good reason for it whether we understand it or not.  In the case of rejoicing always we do not have to dig too deep to begin seeing benefits that can transform our life.

Glory to God!

Grace and Peace