Listen to this devotional:
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (KJV)
James 1:2-3 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (KJV)
Years ago, I was discouraged and depressed. Life was rough. Everywhere I turned, it seemed that nothing improved. In fact, at times, it seemed to get worse. It was then that I started going for counselling and attended church again after many years of not going. One sermon was so meaningful to me. The pastor spoke about counting it all joy when going through rough times. I wondered how I could do that.
In our verse from Philippians today, it is a command to rejoice. We are to rejoice in the Lord — not just to rejoice. Yes, God does give us a choice: we can choose to obey God or to disobey Him. Then in the verse from James, I saw the truth that the struggles we go through bring patience into our lives. Some good is brought about because of the trying of our faith. Once I saw that, it was easier to rejoice. It was easier to trust that God knew what He was talking about.
I decided to try it, and I have found that God's Word is true — once again. It is hard to rejoice when things are rough. It is even hard to think about rejoicing. But, oh, do we want to be obedient children or disobedient children?
Prayer: Dear God, how do we rejoice when things are tough in our lives? Help us to see beyond those things. Help us to see Your goodness and kindness to us. It is then that we can rejoice in You, and You alone. The tough times then diminish in their stature and You increase. Just like John the Baptist said, You must increase but we must decrease (John 3:30). When we rejoice in You, You do increase. Thank You, Father. Amen.