When we go through struggles and bad times in life, we are anything but joyful. Many of us become overwhelmed with stress and hardship when we endure those unbearable trials. Yet, Apostle Paul says that he rejoices in tribulation, and we are supposed to follow His teaching because he taught the truth. So does this mean that we are supposed to be filled with joy and overflowing with happiness when things go wrong? Why would anyone want to rejoice in bad times?
We don’t rejoice FOR the bad times—we rejoice IN the bad times. We don’t have a sacrificial spirit that thrives on pain or injustice, and so when bad things happen we are not happy; we are hurt and sometimes even crushed by the problems that come at us. We have to be careful that we don’t confuse what Paul said because he wasn’t talking about our natural human reactions. He was saying that because of the problem, we can rejoice in God being our answer to it!
We live IN this world, but we are no longer OF this world. Our innate responses to situations have no place in our spiritual life. We don’t look to this world for our refuge and our happiness, and then settle for its useless empathy; we look to God and claim His victory!
We don’t rejoice because we are suffering. We rejoice because we know that Jesus has overcome the world and that He will go through the trial with us and bring us out of it just as He promised! We rejoice because God is greater than any problem we can have. We rejoice because we are saved by the blood of Jesus, and if God loves us enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, then we have to believe that He will also take care of us while we are still on this earth.
Jesus often tells us to be at peace, and that’s because during stressful times, many of us “choose” to worry or think negatively based on the natural situation. But Jesus said to rest in Him, to get His peace and to focus on what He has already done for us. At the cross, Jesus defeated sin and death, and we can overcome it all, too, when we take our eyes off of the world and put them onto Jesus where they belong.
We are surrounded by sin and tempted by evil situations, and many of these situations are going to affect us one way or another. But we don’t have to accept the outcomes that this world predicts. We don’t have to surrender to the dilemma and the adverse reports that come because the world doesn’t know Jesus and is basing its conclusions on what it knows. We base our conclusions on what we know, and that is that Jesus is our Lord and He said to cast our burdens onto Him and let Him deal with them.
We study the Scriptures to know God and to learn who we are in Christ so that we can put our trust in Him alone. The more we study, and the more we pray and worship, the better our relationship with Him gets so that it becomes natural for us to turn to God first for help. Then we can rest because even though the world says our situation is impossible, we know that nothing is impossible to God!
Then, we can rejoice because we know that our God has our problem and is working it out for us. We rejoice because when we are weak, God is made strong in us. We rejoice because, through these bad times, God is glorified as we surrender to Him.
We rejoice because we belong to God and He is faithful to us, His children. We don’t expect our earthly children to suffer situations alone; we would step in and work things out for them, and so, we must realize that our Heavenly Father wants to do the same for us. So, let’s cry out to the One who loves us and rejoice because He hears and answers our prayers. We have no reason to go through trials alone and suffer despair when we know that we should rejoice because God is alive in us and He has given us life!
- I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Corinthians 12:9-10
If this message has blessed you, please share it on your own media sites so that we can work together and help other believers to know what Jesus has done for them. And if you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please join us now so that you can get all future posts directly into your personal inbox.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day! … ronnie