Sunday, April 13, 2008

Recipe for Constant Joyfulness

I heard a teaching from the book of Philippians today. St. Paul, who said: "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice." [Phil.4:4], did not just say it. He really experienced that kind of joy in his life.
The unbecoming conduct of some Christians, some preaching the Gospel for selfish reasons and lack of unity among the Christians were troubling him. Besides all this, he was in prison. These factors could have killed anyone's joy, but not Paul's. Instead, he taught them that their life should be worthy of the gospel, they should realize that they are all working for the same cause, eliminate disunity and have clean hands and pure hearts.

To have that kind of joy all the time, we should learn to take the bad things in life and turn it for good. In the midst of a problem, don't focus on the problem, focus on the good thing that came out of it [Phil.1:15-19]. Look at the people who are praying for you. These things will give us joy, advised Paul.

I realized how true it is. There are times when we do not want to tell our problems because it may paint a bad picture about others who are involved in it. Or for fear of publicity we may not want to confide in someone and carry the burden all alone. such an incident took place a few weeks back and my heart was far from rejoicing.

Then, my sister from Sri Lanka,called and said that two people from a powerful prayer group inquired from her about me. They had said that they were urged to pray for me. My sister did not take it that seriously as she knew that I was in good health. When she told me about this, though the problem which weighed me down remained the same, an unspeakable joy came to me. The thought that the Lord raised up people who do not know anything about me, to pray for me, gave me a fresh love for the Lord.

The Lord understood what I was going through inside. The thought that He was working on the matter I was praying about and that He cares for me, revived me. An inexplicable kind of joy filled me. Without thinking, I began to sing a chorus I knew:
"All that I have is in Jesus, He satisfies, Joy He supplies, Life will be worthless without him. All things in Jesus I find."

Don't you think that we have a loving, understanding, wonderful, almighty God?

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