“Choose joy today.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 16, 2021
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2
As it is in everyone’s life, there are things that haven’t turned out the way I hoped. Some of these unfortunate experiences came from my own poor choices. Some of them came from the choices of others, and some of them came from uncontrollable circumstances, even some that God allowed.
Regardless of why these unfortunate events happened, I have often been reminded that it’s not so much what happens to us in life that matters; it’s how we respond to what happens to us that makes all the difference. By choosing how we respond, we can either experience joy or pain.
Which leads me to my main thought for today: Gratitude is a decision—and it’s a choice we can always make no matter what is happening in our lives. Here is a reminder of this truth. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
This scripture clearly reveals that choosing gratitude is a command, and it’s also a decision. When we rejoice no matter our lot in life, we will find that our hearts are bolstered with hope, and that they swell with a knowing that we are loved beyond what we can see.
I really like that in the middle of the word “rejoice” is the word “joy.” It’s a reminder that we can choose to find joy in all things and that when we rejoice, we do experience joy.
To rejoice means looking for the good in our circumstances. It means finding the silver lining in our disappointments and struggles. There is goodness in all things. In fact, this is what God promises us, right? He will bring good out of all things—not just some things.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So, even when there isn’t obvious good that we can see in a bad circumstance, there is good because God is working His good out.
Maybe you’re in a season when you can’t see any good God has brought from what has happened in your life. Be encouraged. Clarity is not always a gift we have in the middle of a storm. It’s only after the storm has passed that we are often able to see the good that God has brought our way.
While you are waiting for Him to weave the good into your story so you can see it, look for it. Choose to rejoice in the good that you will understand in the future. Choose to rejoice in the truth that He is being faithful even if you cannot fully see it now. Choose to rejoice today. You’ll be glad you did.
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Lord, how I praise you for your goodness and love. I thank you that if I turn towards you, I can always find something to rejoice in. I can always find joy in my circumstances. Help me to do that today and not be destroyed through grumbling. Amen.
As you start your day, make a gratitude list.
Colossians 3:16-17; Ephesians 5:18-20; James 1:7
Elevation Worship: Grateful
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