4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Something that has been discussed, but ignored due to bad connections with crazy people is “positive thinking.” When we hear this we think of someone who talks about being able to change their surroundings due to positive thinking. Someone who thinks that if they think positively about something they can get themselves a job, a new friend, a desirable spouse. This is so close to right. We are almost there! The truth behind this mindset is that though your positive thinking cannot change the circumstances around you (aside from keeping you from making them worse) it CAN change things within you. We can control our emotions.
This is not an immediate reaction. Depending on your current emotional state it takes only seconds to begin releasing chemicals BUT those chemicals have to overwhelm the previous proportions. Some responses, like fight or flight or adrenaline pumps take less time; they are quicker to overtake us. My point: it takes a little bit to experience the change.
When we start to rejoice over the blessings God has bestowed on us. When we start to shift our focus to the profitable we may not see happiness immediately. We won’t immediately shift from sorrow to joy in seconds, but if we don’t start to shift our mind I can guarantee you will remain there much longer. I guarantee you that if you stay focusing on the things that are saddening you there will not be a shift in emotional states. If we follow what Paul is saying here we CAN control our emotions and start to shift our feelings.
Paul states in this passage that when we rejoice the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When we rejoice and begin to steady our eyes on God His peace will begin to wash over us. It will surpass our “understanding.” God says that if we are focusing on Him we can experience this comfort which is going to surpass our understanding of things. We may not have an explanation for the peace. We may not have an explanation for the comfort. The world may be falling around us. Our loved ones may be persecuting us, we may find ourselves sick, we may find ourselves outwardly looking hopeless but when we focus on what God has said we will experience a peace that far surpasses anything we could explain. Something that supernaturally calms our heart amen!!?!?!?
God help me to rejoice in the midst of suffering. To reset my mind. To remind my flesh of all the good things you have poured out on me. I want to have dominion over my flesh rather than being a slave to it. Change my natural ways, guide me in Your Word. Amen.
Though I only spoke about rejoicing in the pain there is great benefit to starting that practice when you’re completely joyful. Instead of waiting until you’re in the ditches to try and rejoice start doing it now! Begin to be characterized by you’re worship of God. Begin praising God for the things He has done in your life openly, today! This way your amigos and amigas will start to build that reputation in your mind so that when struggles hit they can be moved your consistent worship. If you wait until the darkness to praise the light you will seem less genuine. Don’t Delay, Start Today! (cheesy commercial line lol)