In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
It is the identity of the rejoicing Christian that has seemed most illusive and elusive. I picture joy as the constant state of glowing assurance. I picture it as a sustained joy that bubbles over into happiness once in a while. Maybe I have taken on too much sorrow in my identity. Maybe I have expectations that are beyond my resources. However, I am challenged because I too soon can find a reason not to be happy. I have grading that sits in an ominous pile on the dining room table. My son played badly at soccer and I am the coach. I have not published a book or completed a doctorate. In my list I see a strain of ingratitude and entitlement. I do not see what I have and think that I should receive a ‘better’ life whilst I sit passively and wait for it to happen. May God create in me the heart of Joy and gratitude that he has promised. May I choose to rejoice by releasing whatever I have built up that leaves me flat. I have had moments and even days of rejoicing. I hope to find my way back.
To define the Christian life as one of joy seems the aspect I am furthest from. I am not clear on the path to joy, but I think it is connected to gratitude and contentment. Guide me on the steps to rejoicing.
- What causes us to rejoice according to the verse?
- What stands against the rejoicing of the recipients?
- How does one rejoice whilst grieving?
- How have you experienced rejoicing?
- How does a person cultivate a life of rejoicing?