This is just a side comment, but then I have a lot of those, but I just noticed that my last post was my 200th post on this blog. My first post was on June 30, 2005! I have to say as well, that when I was in high school or college English class and being forced to write papers, I never would have imagined I'd be writing for fun. :) My how things change. But, there are other things I've experienced since that I never would have thought possible either.
So now for my thoughts on today. "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4). Rejoice always. Have joy always. Can we have joy at a funeral? Can we have joy in the hospital? through a difficult work experience? You bet we can.
When I first met my best friend over 15 years ago, she told me that it was irritating to her that I always seemed like I was in a good mood. We worked together, I am a morning person by nature, and am normally pretty upbeat no matter what is going on. Heeheee. Thinking about her saying that brings a smile to my face even now because she is so dear to me. So why do I bring this up? Because being joyful and being able to "rejoice in the Lord always" requires more than just a sunny disposition. To rejoice when our world is upside down takes a deep relationship with God.
Paul knew what it was like to be down and out. After all, he probably wrote the book of Philippians from prison. He knew what it was like to suffer yet he kept a good attitude in spite of it. So, how can we maintain a spirit of joy all of the time? Practice, my friends...and discipline to walk with God each and every day. Following is Paul's advice:
1) Pray often and God will give you peace for your soul and guard your hearts and minds. (Phil 4:6-7)
2) Think about the good things that God has done for you and is doing for you. (Phil 4:8)
3) Learn to be content with the things you have. (Phil 4:11-12)
4) Get familiar with God's promises to you by reading the bible daily. We can do all things through Christ, even being happy deep within (joy), if we just tap into His awesome power. (Phil 4:13).
I pray that you find joy today where you didn't think it was possible. We can all rejoice in spite of our outward circumstances. It is then that we become salt and light in this world.