Hello again friends! I haven’t blogged on here in a hot minute, but now out of nursing school, I have a little more time to write for fun again. So I have been working on a couple of posts with some lessons I’ve been learning, and this post has finally come together at the most perfect season as we wrap up EASTER! 🙂 I hope everyone had a great Easter! Praise the Lord for Jesus!
Something that has been a constant on my mind is having joy even in the unjoyful, raw, hard, unfortunate, or laboring circumstances. This sounds cheesy and cliché and not something to easily do. However, I think its worth sharing that there is a way to keep your mind on the joy versus the unhappy circumstances. It is so perfect that this is posted during this season, because it is because of the events on Easter that allow for this stable, joyful state. We can have joy regardless of everything else because JESUS CONQUERED DEATH FOR US! Jesus took on our sins, and we were saved. He loves us THAT much! We simply are born into a world with lots of turmoil and unhappiness, but because of the events of Easter, Jesus conquered all the sins of the world. He beat death, and He claims us as His own.
A theme verse throughout my life and the theme I want to focus on for this revamp of the blog is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Paul writes some final instructions which included this: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The verse is pretty simple to read and understand, but its execution is difficult. There are many times when I don’t want to rejoice because I have my third 12-hour night shift in a row. It can be hard to give thanks when you feel alone, rejected, and stressed. However, these are instructions not to make us sweat trying to carry these out; these are instructions that will allow for a full life with God.
So let’s break it down. These next couple of posts I will go over each phrase starting with Rejoice Always, and I will talk about times when my joy is easily stolen and how to combat those times.
First, we are told to “Rejoice always,” which simply is asking us to choose joy throughout all life endeavors. However, choosing joy is HARD, but its all about where your focus lies. Joy is a state of contentment, rather than an actual emotion. It is about being content in our present state regardless of what happens. This contentment and this joy happens when our focus is on the eternal. It’s a joy that comes from a place of knowing we are loved simply because of who we are. It’s rejoicing in the fact that God’s love anchors us. Our own successes and achievements can warrant happiness; however, these are fleeting. They won’t always be able to keep you at a constant happy/joyful state because they are contingent upon staying in a state of success. This focus is conditional. However, focusing on who we are to God and who God says that we are can yield joy in those hard times, because it is unconditional and simply placed upon us. God’s love is the focus that allows us to rejoice always! SO who does God say we are:
- We are children of God and fellow heirs as Christ is. “And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) –if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him” Romans 8:17.
- We are free from the law of sin and death. “For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2.
- We are chosen, holy, and blameless before God. “For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love” Ephesians 1:4
- We are justified freely by grace. “But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” Romans 3:24
And there are plenty more things God says that we are to Him all throughout the Bible. Finding Joy in who God says we are allows for rejoicing! It is much easier said than done, but in my next post, I will be talking about everyday instances that steal my joy and how I combat those with Godly Truth! It is hard to stay constantly rejoicing, but one sermon I heard about this verse made the VERY true point that these 3 acts in this verse- rejoicing always, praying continuously, and giving thanks- take PRACTICE! It is not something that just happens, but it is what we actively try to do to have a full life with God!