Faith to Feeling: Rejoice

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

How big is the gap between what you say you believe and how you’re feeling emotionally? That’s the question we’re going to tackle this week as we dig through part of Philippians 4.

ftf_350Paul wrote a lot about trusting God all the way into our emotional state of mind. Does it makes sense for someone to say that the God of the universe is also the Father who loves her best – and still feel depressed? angry? anxious? bitter? sad? giddy?

The Bible answers yes to some of those and no to others, depending on the source of the emotion and the depth of our faith. Today’s verse, for instance, is not a command to feel shiny happy all of the time. God doesn’t want us to paste smiles over what we really feel.

It is a command, though, to actively tell ourselves that being in Christ – having God as our Father – is always, always cause for celebration. No matter the ups and downs of our daily lives, exercising our joy response, whether that involves singing and dancing or just quietly remembering that we’re loved and okay in him, is a rational response to being a child of the king with a secure, prosperous, and eternal future.

Think: How would you describe your emotional state of mind today? How does what you believe about your relationship with God through Jesus impact you emotionally? Do you let it change how you feel? Can you stop it from changing how you feel?

Pray: Ask God to help you to rejoice in the Lord always. Then ask him again.

Do: Ask five or so Christians you know how they choose to “rejoice in the Lord always.” What does that mean to them?