Rejoice In It??
In it?? I have to rejoice in it, not after it? Well, that is not necessarily easy for me. I find myself struggling through the day and only rejoicing when it is finally over and I survived. But, I don't think that is what God intends for me; He has something better in mind.
See, I don't think He intended for me to go through each day miserable just praying for it to be over. Unfortunately that is the habit I have gotten into and it has to stop. Guilt over the past, anxiety over the present and fear of the future is not what my heavenly Father has chosen for me, but it is what I have chosen for myself.
And if I don't get it, the Lord gave me examples to follow. Paul and Silas sang while IN jail. Jonah prayed IN the belly of the whale. Daniel had faith IN the lion's den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego..., well you get the idea. TODAY and IN are the key words. NOT AFTER!
The Lord made TODAY for me and I am to rejoice IN it. But, how do I find joy in the day when it stinks, when things are not great or going my way. Choice and attitude.
I must choose to find joy in the day that the Lord made. My attitude must reflect the gratitude I have in God giving me breathe. HOW?? Minute by minute if necessary. Hour by hour. I must retrain my thinking with God's help. And He is willing, the question is, am I.
It may be difficult to begin with and require much effort on my part. But, I only have to work on one day! I only have today. 24 hours, 86,000 heart beats. I am given today, do I really want to be miserable for those 24 hours. NO! Absolutely not!! I am weary with this burden I have been carrying. Joy has escaped me, fear has ingulfed me and each day seems dark.
So, 2013 must begin differently. I can not wallow in guilt of the past, be anxious about today or live in fear of tomorrow. I must claim the promises of God and apply them daily, one day at a time. Will it be easy? No. I have spent a lot of time cultivating this negative mindset. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!!! I believe God's promises and He has promised peace. I can be fearless!
I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.