21 Days To Beat Depression - Day 18
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, ‘rejoice’! - Philippians 4:4
Philippians is one of the shortest Epistles in the New Testament and was written by Paul by the murky light of a window in a Roman prison cell. Certainly a man in the cesspool of life is entitled to write a letter of complaint to the management! Surely a man who has been beaten and bruised for choosing to preach the Gospel gets to vent his emotions or tell his side of the story at least one time! None of us would blame the great apostle Paul if he chose to be “real” and share his disappointment with God... with life... and with the hand that he had been dealt.
Instead, in this short letter written to an obscure church that existed nearly 2 millennia ago, Paul uses the words “joy” or “rejoicing” no less than 14 times!
One thing that we can surely learn from the life of Paul, is that our circumstances do not need to be perfect in order for our lives to be a walking, talking demonstration of the joy of heaven!
“Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say rejoice!” This is strange advice written by a man in the bowels of a Roman prison cell.
This is the advice of Paul that is strongly declared from a first century Roman prison cell straight into your 21st. Century heart: Your inner attitudes do not have to reflect your outward circumstances!
There will always be situations in life that will cause you to be unhappy or unproductive or even weak emotionally. But there should never be any event in your life that causes you to stop rejoicing! There should never be any episode or happening that steals your joy.
This is only possible when you are rejoicing “in the Lord”. It is not possible in our humanity but it is indeed possible in the Lord!
Your joy is a result of a vertical point of view as you are looking straight up into the face of God Himself! If you have a horizontal perspective on your life, as far as the eye can see you will only gaze at a dry and barren wasteland of existence. But if you can choose to look up into the face of the Father, you will be captivated by His love... His peace... and His goodness!
MAKING IT PRACTICAL -
Sometimes it is the simple joys in life that are the best! I want to challenge you today to participate in a simple joy. Go for a walk either by yourself or with a friend. Make yourself a favorite snack. Cuddle up with a good book and your favorite CD. Call an old friend and have a long chat. Watch a favorite TV show. Buy yourself fresh flowers at the grocery store. Take a deep breath... and revel in a simple yet valuable joy in life!
You always have time to be grateful! Get out that “Thanksgiving Every Day of the Year” journal and make at least 3 entries in this beloved book. I am thankful today for fresh raspberries, Skype and bubble baths. #21daystobeatdepression!
I declare today that I will rejoice regardless of my circumstances. I declare that my outward circumstances do not have the power to determine my inner attitudes.
PRAYER FOR TODAY -
"Dear Jesus, I love You so much. Today I thank You for sunsets, for the promise of spring and for freedom. I thank You for strength to carry on and a song in my heart. Thank You for being so very good to me! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”