You can’t get much plainer than Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
But do we?
Do we just punctuate our conversations with “praise the Lord”? Or do we really praise Him?
In Christ, we find unlimited reasons to rejoice. Should we look to find joy in our circumstances, we sometimes could…and sometimes couldn’t. But should we choose to find our joy in the Lord, we will always have reason to rejoice. To rejoice is a choice, and to rejoice in the Lord should be one of the most spontaneous habits for the child of God!
But yesterday, I woke up knowing that I was going to need to make special effort to rejoice, so I set a challenge for myself. Since I knew that there are an infinite number of reasons to rejoice in the Lord (because His attributes and blessings are infinite), I determined to specifically name just one hundred. I wanted a measurable way to choose to rejoice, and I wanted a definite challenge to keep at it all day long.
I pulled out a notebook and wrote at the top “100 Reasons to Rejoice in the Lord.” Then I kept it by my side all day and purposefully turned my mind toward thoughts of praise. I simply jotted down reasons to rejoice in the Lord as they came to mind—in no particular order and attempting to not repeat.
I didn’t actually make my goal of one hundred yesterday (just fifty-four), but God did something in my heart through it. As I praised Him for His unchanging greatness and His unfathomable love toward me, He encouraged my soul. In fact, I was so blessed by the effort of relentlessly focusing my mind on the Lord, that I continued and finished my list today.
Only, I hope I didn’t really finish. Actually, I just scratched the service, but I trust that this exercise turned my mind toward an ongoing choice to rejoice—in specifics.
Is “rejoice in the Lord” a cliché to you? Or are you really doing it?
If you want some real reasons to rejoice, grab a pad of paper, write at the top “100 Reasons to Rejoice,” and begin naming them!