Rejoice!

 

Arise from the depression that has caused you to bow to circumstance and has kept you from shining your light!! “For the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” (Is 60:1)!

 Jesus said; “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:14-16).  Praise the Lord!

 We are not to hide the light of Christ within us with fear and shame; allowing the devil to paralyze us because of past sin, insecurity or unworthiness that hinders us to take a step of faith into the unknown. Do not lose heart fellow believer; Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2 NIV)! For those that love Him, He will redeem the things that are seemingly against them, so that they are all for their sakes that the life of Christ may be glorified. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame for the joy that was set before Him. What seemed like defeat was actually the greatest victory ever won! Yes, the Lord had JOY set before Him. JOY that overcame shame, humiliation, pain and suffering! JOY; that the eternal purpose was being fulfilled. Jesus paid the price for our redemption so that sin would not stand in the way of our reconciliation to the Father. He is the light of the world, those that follow Him shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). Through the same joy in purpose He took away the keys of death and hell from Satan so we would no longer have to fear death. He has conquered the Grave! Praise you Jesus! I am restored to the JOY of my salvation, upheld by His generous Spirit (Ps 51:12)! Yes Lord, your Joy is my strength (Neh 8:10)! Praise you my King!

Many people drift away from Christ when they become weary of life’s struggles, overcome in the battle of life. They are just plain tired of all the trouble; financial, emotional, physical or marital stresses. Pressures are all around, concerns for things out of our control.  These burdens we cannot carry, they are too heavy for us. People are worn out and inwardly know that they don’t have all the answers within themselves for a lifetime of trials. Many just want to give up or sublimate in temporal fulfillment. The more they pray, the more trouble they see, with no end in sight. The great unanswered question “what is the purpose?”

Paul said, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Phil 1:12-14).

Paul wrote this from a Roman jail, while being chained between two guards. He was chained to a circumstance beyond his control. He could have lost sight of his future because everything had changed for him. Paul’s tomorrows were taken away. He had two options; he could ask “why me? I do not deserve this” and begin to complain and murmur which would lead him into bitterness and a hardening of his heart or he could think with God and consider how he should react to the circumstance that had now come into his life. He could decide that he would let it count for Christ by letting it preach to others in the way he reacts. He chose to be a testimony and ministry for others. His afflictions had become a cause for his rejoicing. He did not say he was happy he was in prison. I’m sure he cried out for God to deliver him; praying for God to give him the grace to get through each day. Paul did not need people to pity him saying; “Poor Paul, he was dealt a bad hand in life” Paul did not just resign and give up by only saying “this is Gods will for me”. But rather he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Phil 4:4. He was able to see that God was turning his sufferings around and working something good for others, so he could joyfully say that his sufferings were for the Philippians and other Christians.(1) What is your reaction when affliction comes your way? Does your life preach Christ?

I have some dear friends from South Africa and Texas who having been faced with terrible tragedy and suffering. They have chosen to allow Christ to be preached in the midst of their trial. As a result, thousands and thousands of lives have been saved and touched for the kingdom of God!

Retha McPherson of RethaMcPhersonMinistries.com recounts from her book; A MESSAGE FROM GOD:

“The entire McPherson family was involved in a terrible motor car accident. Retha, her husband Tinus and her youngest son Josh walked away with little or no injuries, but her eldest son Aldo felt the full brunt of the impact. He was thrown from the vehicle and found unconscious on the other side of the highway…Aldo was on life support for a long time after the accident, and during that time Retha was lifted into a new level of walking by faith and not by sight. Although Aldo sustained severe brain injuries as a result of the accident, Retha testifies: “God is good! He has awakened my Sprit to Him and I have come to know Him as a holy God who wants my life, not only my heart.” After a few weeks in a coma, Aldo finally woke up. While he was in a coma, he had a supernatural experience where he went to heaven, saw God, the angels, Moses and Abraham. Aldo came back with one message: “Jesus is alive!” Due to the seriousness of his injuries to his head Aldo was not able to speak for a long time and related his miraculous journey by writing letters lead by the Holy Spirit – which he is still doing today”.

Natalie Nichols shares from her website ShadesofGraceMinistries.com.

“In 1991, at 20 years old, Natalie was a senior honor student at Baylor University, a talented musician, and a gifted motivational speaker. In a matter of weeks, an undiagnosed illness suddenly progressed, taking her on a downward spiral. Finally in 1996, a correct diagnosis was made – late-stage Lyme disease. By this time there was little left that resembled the teenager who had begun the journey. What began with a flu, fatigue, stiffness, and pain had progressed until she was confined for over seven years in a wheelchair, a bed, and then within her mind, as the infectious disease caused severe cognitive destruction. It was only God’s grace that carried Natalie through this ultimate test of her faith. His Word literally became her sustenance from day to day. As with Job, the Lord brought her through her trial with His love and grace”

Natalie, Retha and Aldo are precious examples to me of people who, because of pure joy in serving their King, took up their cross, despised their shame and allowed Christ to be preached to others. One day soon we will all have to stand before Christ and give an account for our lives. Our eyes will be open, we will see His glory, we will see all the Angels that encamped around us. The Holy Spirit will reveal to us how He was always there in comfort and power; we will see our Father; the Great “I AM” in all His glory and majesty!! We don’t want to miss this because we allowed the devil to blind our eyes and ruin our testimony by his deception! NO! NO! Instead, we want the light of God’s countenance to rest on us in our lifetime having all joy and peace in believing, abounding in hope for the coming day. We will stand in heaven REJOICING!!! Knowing that we did not waste our sorrows in vain, but our affliction became the message of Christ’s faithfulness (Rm 14:10-12, 2Cor 5:10).

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(1)Thoughts from “Trusting God for all your Tomorrows” David Wilkerson 2006

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