Always Be Joyful

Always be joyful.
1 Thessalonians 5:16

I was sitting in a chair at the pharmacy waiting for one of my medications. The cashier said, “Can I help the next person?” I asked this guy which of us was there first, knowing that I probably was but wanting to be polite. He said, “Well I’ve been waiting a long time” (so was I!) and just went ahead of me. Another woman who didn’t have all of her marbles was there and her name was called by the pharmacist in back saying that hers was ready. I tried to politely in a roundabout way tell her that my name had been called quite a while ago. But when the cashier was ready, she just walked right up there.

It’s painful for me to sit or stand because of my lower back pain. Walking is less painful, until chronic fatigue kicks in, but then I’d lose my place.

By the time I got home I was pretty miffed at my lack of assertiveness and how people just went in front of me and how much pain it causes, especially because this was on the way home from a doctor appointment.

My first thought was–what Jesus went through isn’t even comparable to waiting at a store. What I went through was absolutely nothing. But where is the joy in that? I still feel grumpy. So then I thought about the results of what Jesus did for me on the cross, God resurrecting him, and the Holy Spirit and whole of the Trinity residing in me. Getting to know and love God has been increasingly great (John 17:3). What a great thing that is! That’s something to be joyful about. So I thought about that, which is Scriptural. I think we need to let Scripture constantly inform us. If we work on things using our own reasoning, we start to think of things that we think we should think about, but God may steer us in a different direction, in one way or another through the truth of His Word, at some time or another. Reason #47 to memorize Scripture.

I can also be joyful and thankful that because of this situation God taught me something and further revealed another aspect of being joyful. This is a minor situation. The major ones will be more difficult. Praise God that He teaches us through his Holy Spirit with the truth of His Word.

God wants us to be patient in everything and be glad that we are in His Kingdom.

Colossians 1:11-12 NRSV
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

I love the NRSV’s rendering of that and often hang onto it. In any situation, we can look up and be joyful in what we have in God.

Colossians 3:1-3 NRSV
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

If we are sorrowful upon any worldly account, yet still we may always rejoice [spiritual joy; in God]

–Matthew Henry

For further reading, based on Psalm 73:

book-faith-on-trial Martin Lloyd-Jones

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