Imagine this…you went with a group of friends to watch your favorite hockey team play. You have been looking forward to this evening for weeks. The game seemed to be the best game you have seen in your entire life. You were on the edge of your seat all night. The score of the game was tied and fans of both teams were going wild throughout the night. The scoreboard showed that the game went into overtime but nothing seemed to change in that additional period as the score still remained tied. Both teams thought they could take the game in the shootout but it wasn’t until the sudden-death shots that “your” team finally won. You and your friends were filled with such joy. Plans were instantly being made as to where to go to celebrate. Everyone was happy. Everyone was filled with joy. Everyone was ecstatic. But were they? What about the other team players? What about the other fans?
Through the ups and down of the game we see the depiction of daily life. At times we can be so elated and at other times feel depleted and down. Life can be a constant rollercoaster. There are two ways that we can look at our situations. We can ultimately choose to rejoice or choose to sulk. The Bible clearly tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always.” As clear as that sounds, sometimes we might not feel there is anything to rejoice about. It is easy to rejoice when things are going our way and life seems easy and good, but on the flip side we usually do not plan to rejoice when life is hard, unpredictable, and tiring. We were not given the stipulation to rejoice only when things are good. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always. That means in every situation!
It is not our human nature to rejoice in difficult or trying times so we must look to Christ to actually show us how. The verse does not stop there. It then actually repeats with the words, “again, I will say, rejoice!” Think about the last time you told someone to do something and then said “again” and repeated what you just said. I guess you really meant it and wanted them to follow your advice.
Today your hockey game may be a financial matter, a health concern, going through the adoption process, preparing for something, or simply just going through your day. It’s not always easy to do what is right and it definitely is not easy to rejoice always, but remember as we “rejoice in Christ always” we will find it easier to rejoice always because we will be reminded of his presence, power, glory, and grace.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)