Rejoice in the Lord

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I’ve been thinking a lot about joy lately. Or, I guess I should say that God has been teaching me about joy a lot lately. He wants to continually remind me that joy is not dependent on my circumstances.

It’s so easy for us to focus on our immediate circumstances and allow them to dictate our mood and emotions. Whether it’s losing a softball game 18-2 or something much more serious like severe health concerns or the loss of a job or the loss of a loved one, our circumstances can weigh us down. But God calls us to adjust our focus from our circumstances to our Savior.

If we will focus on what Jesus did on the cross, providing the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life, no earthly circumstance will be able to steal our joy! That’s why the apostle Paul was able to encourage us in Philippians 4:4 to “Rejoice in the Lord always!” Paul wasn’t lounging in a hammock under a palm tree at the beach. He was in chains awaiting execution!
But because his focus was on what Jesus had done for him, he was able to maintain and express his joy. May the joy of the Lord be your strength this week.