Hi everyone! I didn't realize it had been so long since I did a post on here, but I thought I'd share an article that I wrote a while back - Enjoy! :)
“Rejoice in the Lord”. That phrase is written on plaques and hung on walls in houses everywhere. However, as we take time to think about it, do we really? How many times do we find ourselves going day to day with a ho-hum attitude, or simply going through the motions? As Christians, we should be the most joyful people on earth, because we understand our purpose, and have the gift of Life. I believe that one of the biggest keys to appreciating the wonderful gift of salvation is to understand the ugliness of sin.
Worldliness and sin abound in every place we go, and it’s normal to get used to something if it’s around us 24\7. But we must fight this if we’re to remain holy. We’re not to be conformed to this world, but we’re to be transformed (Rom. 12:2). The state we’d be in if God had never shown His love by sending His Son is truly sobering, but it’s one that we must periodically think on to remind us of the great blessing we’ve received.
It’s not possible for evil to dwell with God (Ps. 5:4), and God’s face is against those who act wickedly (Ps. 34:16). God does not tolerate sin. Even though he might not destroy mankind for such evildoing as he did in the days of the flood, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel just as strongly about it today as he did then. Sin is serious and we can’t afford to become numbed by it. Sure, we might not be practicing homosexuality, but what about the “smaller” sins of greed, jealousy, fits of anger, impure speech or envy (Gal. 5:19-21)? These things are every bit as detrimental to our spiritual life as the “big” issues, and are more of a struggle for most Christians. Sin cannot dwell with God. We’re imperfect human beings, and we fall. Over and over, we need to ask God for his forgiveness. However, the beauty of what God has given us is that if we’re trying to do right and follow him to the best of our ability, we are continually cleansed and forgiven (1 Jn. 1:7).
How should the knowledge that we have a way to escape death and eternal punishment make us feel? The knowledge that God still would have sent his Son to die in our place, even if we were the only one he did it for? I can’t think of anything under the sun that can fill me with more joy. We don’t deserve life, but God loved us so much that he gave it to us anyway. What a gift! (Eph. 2:8)
That being said, when we go to worship, why do we sometimes have a less than enthusiastic attitude? We should feel honored to be able to praise him, thank him, remember him, and give back to him. Let’s “Be glad when they said to us ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’”(Ps. 122:1).
With the knowledge we have, our everyday lives can and should be filled with joy and peace. Do we go about our days in a state of semi-apathy, with a slightly dreary attitude? The Psalms are full of verses telling us to rejoice and have a happy heart, praising God in our thankfulness. In my mind, the picture that’s painted from those verses isn’t one of negativity and solemnity. Our hope should bring joy, resulting in a glad heart, which in turn, makes a cheerful face. If you’re not having the best day, try counting some of your blessings and make a conscious effort to speak cheerful words – not to be ingenuine, but feelings often follow actions.
If you go into your workplace with a ho hum attitude every day, it shows, and if we don’t show joy, or even happiness in our lives, why should people in the world want what we have? We’re to be lights in the world; a city on a hill that can’t be hidden. Think for a moment even about your facebook page. What do our statuses reflect? So many times I see people post over and again how a certain something annoyed them, disappointed them, or angered them, often never thinking to note what was pleasant or positive in their lives. This isn’t a healthy attitude, and certainly not a Christlike outlook on life.
Let’s truly delight in the Lord, exult in every new day He brings, appreciate the wonderful gift of salvation, and look forward to opportunities that might come our way! “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed” – Prov. 15:13