We can easily get into the trap of comparing our lives to others and think of the many things we don’t have and the goals we haven’t yet reached. These thoughts will only leave us exhausted, disappointed, and discouraged. The only way to thrive into our destiny is through having a heart that rejoices in all circumstances. Rejoicing is a necessity.
Though I may seem to be a positive person, my natural tendency is to think negatively.
I tend to think of what could be done instead of what has been accomplished. I easily linger on people’s past mistakes instead of hoping for the best and I am my hardest critic even when I have done my best.
God has been teaching me what it means to have the mind of Christ. Recently, I woke up feeling horrible. Negative thoughts filled my mind which got me in a bad mood.
I went into alone time with Jesus and the Holy Spirit reminded me that I needed to rejoice.
I thought to myself, “Rejoice? How can I rejoice when things aren’t going the way I expected them to be.” It was at that moment when I remembered the gratitude journal that was gifted to me. The journal requires that you list 3 specific things that you are thankful for.
Immediately my attitude shifted as I filled the journal.
I was feeling discouraged about a Discover Your Purpose Group that I have been trying to grow, but I started giving thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to pour into the 40 people who were already in the group
My discouragement towards the group quickly dissipated and I was back to feeling encouraged that I was pursuing what God had put in my heart to do. Through giving thanks and rejoicing, I was able to see the purpose behind this group and how God is with me through the journey.
I went from feeling discouraged to having a heart of joy. I took every negative thought that I had in the morning and chose to give thanks and rejoice.
Rejoicing gives us the power to shift our negative attitude into a positive one.
The key to going through life without discouragement is to have a heart of rejoicing. Rejoicing starts with us giving thanks. We don’t have to wait until our circumstances change to rejoice. We can rejoice now because there is always a reason to give thanks to God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…“
No matter how far we get in life, there will always be another level to reach. This is why we should never wait to rejoice. God wants us to rejoice through the journey starting today. We lose a heart of gratitude when we stop giving thanks to God. We can easily be like the Israelites who complained during their journey to their promise land. They forgot the God who called them and the God who was with them.
The Israelites started getting weary when they were only able to eat bread along the journey. They complained and said to Moses, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:3).
The Israelites stopped giving thanks for the fact that God had released them from a life of slavery to freedom. The lack of food made them forget God’s goodness and rejoicing was far from their lips.
Moses then tells the Israelites, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
God was faithful and provided meat and bread to the Israelites. However, we see the Israelites forgetting again all that God had done. They started worshipping their own idol instead of God.
Their hearts became far from God and it caused them to miss their promise land.
God reminds us throughout scripture to give thanks because it is a necessity to reach our promise land. Ephesians 5:20 says, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything…“
A heart of gratitude reminds us of God’s faithfulness. As we are reminded of His faithfulness, we will keep His way and stay faithful in the journey He has called us to.
Psalm 37:34 says, “Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land…” Don’t let hardships make you forget that God is with you along your journey. Though you can’t see God’s promises, trust that He is faithful to bring it into completion. Our job is to rejoice and renew our minds with praiseworthy thoughts. Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
This is the season where God wants to show Himself as the Great I am to those who stay faithful to Him. What areas in your life do you need to be thankful and rejoice for?
God deserves your utmost praise. Remind yourself of what He has done in the past and the things He will do. So remember, rejoicing is a necessity.