You can choose to rejoice even if you don’t feel like it

You can choose to rejoice even if you don’t feel like it

When was the last time you sat down and thanked the Lord for the day? I don’t do it as often as I should. I think I might mumble a sleepy, “Thank you for waking me up” as I’m stumbling down the stairs for my coffee in the morning. But should I be satisfied with such a meager, weak attempt at gratitude?

I’m busy. I forget how busy I am, which sounds strange, but I’m so busy I can’t even organize my thoughts enough to explain how busy I am. Some of that’s good. Being busy is good most of the time, and it’s so much better than being bored. But boundaries are important too. Otherwise, you’ll burn out and crash, and God gave us the example of rest for that very reason.

When your busyness prevents you from demonstrating gratitude to God, you’re too busy. Or you aren’t prioritizing well enough.

woman-570883_1920Today’s verse is Psalm 118:24.

This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Today may be a good day. Today may be a bad day. Regardless, God made this day, and He put you in it. He allowed you to wake up and get around and live today. That’s worth rejoicing no matter what kind of day it is.

I know a lot of people who are struggling with depression and anxiety right now. It’s understandable. Situations and circumstances can get us down. Relationships can hurt us deeply. The various struggles with just getting by can drive our focus inward so that all we can see is how difficult and challenging life is. And when you’re in that place, you don’t feel much like rejoicing.

But here’s something to remember, to hold on to on the days when you don’t feel happy: God is still God.

It’s hard to focus on that when life feels like it’s falling apart, but that’s the one fact you can count on. In those moments where nothing seems to make sense, stop thinking about everything that’s wrong and look for the one truth you know you can trust. The only truth is that God is God. He is the only one who is truly good. He never makes mistakes. He always keeps His promises. And God has promised to love you unconditionally.

I know it doesn’t always feel like He loves us. Life sucks sometimes. But God didn’t promise that life wouldn’t suck. The opposite is true. God has told us over and over again that we won’t have it easy in this flawed, broken world, mainly because this world isn’t our home. We aren’t destined to stay here. This life, though important, is just a bump in the road in the grand scheme of eternity.

Your life may be rocking right along and you may have no troubles or difficulties or challenges to speak of. If that’s you, enjoy it while it lasts. Because if you’re serving the Lord and seeking to follow Jesus, that sort of easy ride won’t last forever. Not trying to be a downer. Just being truthful. Don’t see Satan lurking in every shadow. Don’t walk through life expecting the worst. Just don’t be surprised when trouble comes your way.

But if you’re in the other boat, and your life is just tough right now, hang in there. While it’s true you may be struggling because of your own choices, it’s also true you may just be going through a difficult time. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. It could just be that the world is broken. Either way, the answer is the same: Hold on to Jesus. Hold on to what you know is true, and do your best to find the joy in the broken pieces. It’s there. And if you can’t find it, ask God to help you see it.

God made you. God loves you. God made this day and put you in it for a reason. You have a purpose. You have meaning. So don’t get so caught up in being busy that you forget that. Don’t be so beaten-down and hurt that you stop focusing on who God is.

God has a plan. He’s working it out, and because He is good, His plan is good too. Slow down and thank Him for that. Stop running and praise Him. You can choose to praise God today even if you don’t feel like it. Your spirit wants to, even if the rest of you doesn’t. Stop fighting the perceived need to be sad. Instead, turn your eyes to the Lord. Tell Him how awesome He is. Not just out of habit or out of duty. Mean it.

You might be surprised how much better you feel.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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