Rejoice in the Lord
by Susan Barnes
"Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit" Luke 10:21 NIV.
The apostle Paul often encouraged his readers to rejoice, and he reinforced this by saying he is content regardless of his circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Our reason for rejoicing isn’t because we are living a life of comfort and easy, Paul certainly didn’t, but our rejoicing is because of all that God has done for us.
In the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has made it possible for us to be in a relationship with him.
We don't need to strive to live a Christian life because God by his Spirit is living in us, as we surrender to him. Eugene Peterson puts it this way in his translation of Romans 8:4 "Instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us." To stop our efforts may feel like we are failing God, but the bigger challenge is to embrace what the Spirit is doing in us and this requires a change of attitude.
We aren’t self-sufficient. We need God.
Watchman Nee tells the story of a clumsy servant. If he doesn't do anything, nobody notices his clumsiness, but the minute he tries to do something his clumsiness is obvious.
God knew we would be clumsy servants, so he did everything necessary to secure our salvation. Now, we are not inactive but rather like Paul we say,
"I labor, struggling with all his energy which so powerfully works in me" (Colossians 1:29).
It's a matter of realising that God is our focus, he's giving the directions and supplying the energy. And this is a good reason to rejoice.
Susan, an Australian pastor's wife, regularly writes devotional thoughts on Bible passages, book reviews and inspirational articles. Contact