Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Advent Words Day 18 ~ Rejoice


Day 18: Rejoice

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.” Luke 1:46-50

While thinking about what direction to go in with today’s word, it struck me that the words of the past three days – joy, peace, promise – serve as a foundation for today’s word, rejoice. Joy is our response to God’s love and His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Peace is ours because of our restored relationship with God through Christ.  Remembering God’s fulfilled promises to those who have faith in Christ – salvation, eternal life, the Holy Spirit – gives us reason to rejoice!

This is exactly what we see in today’s Scripture passages. The Psalmist is full of gratitude to the Lord. His gratitude results in a desire to tell all about the wonderful deeds of the Lord. And it all results in a choice by the Psalmist to rejoice in the Lord.

Mary also looks at all the ways God has been active in her life – being chosen to bear the Messiah, the favor God has found in her, and the mercy He shows His people – and she also shares His wonderful deeds and chooses to rejoice in the Lord.

Rejoicing is a response of faith. Rejoicing comes out of a life that is dependent on God and from one who knows firsthand the peace of God. Rejoicing is a choice we make to respond to who God is and to all that He has done. Rejoicing is an intimate response to God that comes from a deep and intimate faith from one who is content because of the grace and love of God. It is living our life in the joy of the Lord.

The great thing about rejoicing is that we can live in joy despite our circumstances. Because joy comes from a deep abiding faith in God that results in peace and contentment, to rejoice is to make the choice to put joy into action. Rejoicing is not a feeling, nor is it dependent on feelings.  It’s dependent on faith. Despite our feelings and despite our circumstances we can still rejoice because we belong to the Lord, because He loves us, because He holds us close to His heart. We don’t deny our feelings, even the ones that may overwhelm us such as anger, despair, depression, sadness, sorrow, etc. The Scriptures are full of messages and examples of people experiencing these feelings and hard times, yet God’s people can choose to find joy in the Lord in the midst of these feelings and circumstances. This is abiding, joy-filled faith.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always
.” Psalm 105:1-4

Rejoice! Our Savior has come!


Share how you express today's word on social media using #adventwords2021. You can also share in the Words Challenge Facebook Group.  

No comments:

Post a Comment