Enter His courts with thanksgiving

February 3, 2015

How is it possible to remain joyful all the time? Paul gives us the key: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (emphasis added). The key to the Christian’s joy is its source, which is the Lord. If Christ is in me and I am in Him, that relationship is not a sometimes experience.

The Christian is always in the Lord and the Lord is always in the Christian, and that is always a reason for joy. Even if the Christian cannot rejoice in his circumstances, if he finds himself passing through pain, sorrow, or grief, he still can rejoice in Christ. We rejoice in the Lord, and since He never leaves us or forsakes us, we can rejoice always.


As elementary as that sounds it is one of the hardest things to put into practical everyday experience. Some folks are better at it than others. One, I have to remind myself that it’s not just some mystical by product of my imagination; Christ lives in me and I live in him. It’s a faith thing, rudimentary but one I have to practice. But it’s hard to rejoice in the Lord. I remember when we were newly married, a thousand miles from home and while visiting friends for Thanksgiving we got robbed, they took everything including the house plants and the silver and even the blankets and sheets off our beds, literally everything but our clothes.



I called our pastor and he just walked up and down the house saying “thank you Jesus, hallelujah.” I wanted to punch in in the nose, “how can you keep saying that” I asked? He looked at me with a big smile and said “brother, can you think of something better?”



The answer was no, so for the first time in my very young Christian life in the worst disaster of our young marriage I decided what the heck, so I started praising the Lord, I would like to tell you I felt immediately better but that didn’t happen. But I realized we were safe, we weren’t home when it happened and I did truly believe that God would do something.


Well they caught the two guys, all our stuff was returned, the military base commander felt bad for us and even though I was to low in rank to merit it, we moved into a new house on base and got promoted to sergeant ahead of time. I met the two fellows in jail and dropped the charges and told them I forgave them and told how Jesus had forgiven me and invited them to church.



A month late one of them was dead, killed by the home owner they were trying to rob and the other sent to prison. Make sense, hardly, but in all things we are to praise him and give him thanks, whether we understand it or not.



Paul’s admonition to believers to be joyful presupposes that believers can do something if they are lacking in joy and the New Testament is filled with teaching on how to be joyful. The most basic method is to focus our attention on the ground of our joy, the source of our joy. That is our Lord and Savior and the great work he has done for us and to us.



I’ll be the first to confess that I don’t praise the Lord enough, nor do I give thanks as often as I should. But I’m working on it, so work on it with me. Praise the Lord!


As some of you can tell I’m back on my Ipad which means no picture and no font setting, so bear with me until I can get back on my Pc in a few days.


God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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