Paul said something in Philippians that has been repeated again and again: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) It’s a great statement, but much more, has incredible power when you actually apply it.
As we were praying a couple of mornings ago, I found myself asking the Lord to help me be so filled with His joy that any conversation I left would be better for me having been a part of it. “Lord, help me to be and to bring Your joy through this day!”
For that to happen, I had to set my mind to it first thing. Absent that, I would no doubt get sucked into the kinds of conversations you never feel better for. Know what I mean? Let’s be honest: that’s the bulk of conversations that take place. While nobody may intend it, slowly but ever so surely they descend into complaining, criticizing, questioning, carping or some other such negativity. Especially in our agitated society, we all move to that like filings to a magnet.
Ah, but God has so much more, so much better for us. He wants our hearts to be filled with that joy that we find in Him, and He wants us to spread it around. There’s a reason we read about Jesus that, “the common people heard Him gladly.” Of course they did; He was fun to be around. His optimistic, joyful spirit was contagious. People loved it, and were drawn to it and to Him.
The good news is that’s what He has for all of us! How do we get there, do that? Simply by starting and staying in His joy every hour of every day regardless of the situation. Paul was truly up against it for much of his life, but what did he do? He rejoiced! So one more time: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Say that outloud. Repeat. Now say it 10x daily. Sooner or later the truth embedded in it will flood and shape your soul!