Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Discipline of Celebration

I enjoy times of celebration. The laughter, the joy, the happiness. Circumstances are such that celebration is natural and easy. It is the best response and flows effortlessly from a heart overflowing with thankfulness. In our home we look for any reason for a joyous diversion.

The reality is that life is not always easy. Times when rejoicing for this day is hard. Nothing seems good. The call to rejoice and celebrate seems cruel. Impossible. Unfair. Should not be expected or even asked.

Yet, God desires our discipline of celebration as an act of worship. We are saying that even in this moment, God is good and worthy of our praise.

Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

We are not rejoicing in the painful situation, but in the Lord.

For over two weeks now I have fought the battle between party and pity. Knowing what God desires, yet knowing my hearts despair.

How can I celebrate when my world is turning upside down?

Yesterday my friend Carol reminded me of Psalm 42 and our call to live in His 'yet power'..."for I shall yet praise Him".

Regardless of feelings. Regardless of thoughts. Regardless of what my eyes see. Regardless of what my ears hear. Regardless of not understanding. Regardless of doubts. Regardless of tears. I shall yet praise Him.

"...go and celebrate because of all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household." Deuteronomy 26:11

He has given "good things". He has given His love, presence, strength, grace, mercy, peace...His Son. Always a reason to celebrate!

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Anonymous said...

Dear Joyful,
Read your comments on Lysa's blog. Am praying for you this morning. Praying that the Lord will hold you so close you will be able to hear His heartbeat. Praying that His word and His truth will rise up in you like a mighty mountain.
Praying that He will indeed fight for you as the enemy threatens to overtake you. Praying for His hedge of protection around you.
Praying that you will have the courage to choose to believe, even when your eyes do not see. Praying for practical blessings to come your way, a meal provided, a friend to sit with you, a song on the radio that speaks to you.
Praying that the Lord will be the lifter of your head today. Praying for a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness to come forth from this situation.
We do not have control over our lives, but we do have a choice in how we respond. Yes, a sacrifice of praise is in order. Especially when you don't feel like it, hence the word: sacrifice. Choose to believe, choose to hang on to your faith. Know our Heavenly Father is with you.
Will continue to hold you up in prayer. Today is the last day of winter. Tomorrow is promises of spring!
To God be the glory!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I am so thankful that God is the same yesterday, today ,and forever! Because of that we can know that He is always here for us no matter what. How horrible it would be if there was a possibility that God could forget where we lived, or lose His power to take care of us, or fall out of love with us! What an awesome God we serve!


RefreshMom said...

Yep, yep. (We are 'on the same page' again, aren't we?)

May you have a blessed day, filled with rejoicing.

lisasmith said...

Praying with you. Rejoicing with you. Weeping with you. Clinging fast to Him with you.

As I pray for you today, Joy, I am reminded that He is not only with us, He is for us. Praying that you would experience the victory of having Him on your side today, my friend.

PS I loved your comment on my post this morning. I love that you "get" me. Thanks!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hey sweet friend...

Holly and I will be in Dallas this weekend but we will keep on praying for you and your Dad.

Sending more cyber hugs your way(())