When you think of ways to keep safe, does rejoicing and delighting ever come to mind? Not to me, either. Last week, though, the first verse from the third chapter of Philippians grabbed my heart. Paul recommends we rejoice and delight in the Lord, and that doing so is a safeguard for us.
Only Jesus. Only Jesus could give us a safety vest or mask that is not just comfortable and attractive. It’s sheer pleasure. Next time I gather with others for feasting and fun, I’m going to try to do something new. When our conversation turns to complaining about the state of the world, the nation, or culture, I’m going to try to rejoice and delight in the Lord anyway.
I’m as much of a grumbler about those things as anyone else, often the worst, or the one who initiates the gripe-fest. However, Jesus never grumbles about me, and He has countless reasons to. He tells us in His “love chapter,” that His kind of unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs and bears all things, (1 Corinthians 13:5-7). Since He wants me to love even my enemies, I want to choose rejoicing and delighting in Him much more often. I know it may help me to keep no record of wrongs, and to bear all things.
I want to remember to pray for those events and people about whom I am quick to grumble. Since nothing can happen without His permission, all my complaining is ultimately about God. He welcomes me with open ears and arms no matter what topic I bring to Him, and changes my perspective. He sees the eternal picture and knows how He is using even the worst of the worst events to create a masterpiece of each of His children and of this whole story of God and humans. His reply to me is often, “Will you trust me with this? Have I not always done all things well?”
Yes, Lord, you always have and always will. Thank You for listening to my complaints and keeping no record of my wrongs. Thank You for reminding me Who is in charge, Who You are, and who You’ve made me to be, in You.
What keeps me safe?
What’s that smell?
How Can I Help?