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(TIME TO REJOICE) SCRIPTURE- PS. 118:24                                                  JANUARY, 1995



The dictionary says that rejoice, is a term for an act that shows a feeling of joy or gladness. To take delight in. Rejoicing, takes many forms. Some people sing, some dance, some shout, some cry, others run. The point is, when people get really happy, they are liable to do many things, that others, when observing them, get the message, that they're happy, about something.

Many times, people, observing someone rejoicing, will tend to get happy, and start doing it too, even though, they don't know why the person is rejoicing, and if you ask them, they don't have any thing to be happy about. Why, do they do this? Because happiness, is contagious.

There is something about being full of joy, that affects not only the person themselves, but those around them. Look at the announcement of a new baby. Or an engagement. Winning a contest, or lottery, where lots of money is involved, and you will see people, start doing some crazy things. In sports, when the home team, wins the championship, the players rejoice, because they were the victors. But, look at the fans. You would think that they had done all the work. They run on the field, or court. They throw beer, popcorn and just about anything else, all over the place. Why, because the feeling of joy, sweeps over the crowd, and they are drawn into the celebration, forgetting things that may have been unpleasant. Just for an instant, all of the negative cares that they were thinking on, have been put behind, and they are uplifted, from the blahs, to the hoorahs.

You are probably saying, 'that is true, but what does that have to do with the subject?

What do I have to rejoice about? Today, is just like any other day. I get up, go to work, get off, come back home, pay my bills, get something to eat, and other mundane things, that I don't see any reason to be rejoicing about.'

Well, look at what you just described. First, you got up. Now while there is nothing so spectacular to you, about that, think about those people that went to bed last night, and will never get up again. Think about those that can't even get up, because they are paralyzed or something else. You have a victory, right there. Next, you go to work.

Now while that is something, that most people, find no joy in, still, you have a job to go to. How many people do you know, that don't have jobs to go to? The pay may not be what you would like, but it sure beats nothing. It beats being at the mercy of a system, that controls your every move, if it is giving you money. So, you have victory in that area. ( Let me say this, being on welfare, isn't bad. It beats, not having any thing, at all. If you are on welfare, remember, there are places in this world, where there is no such system in place. The people just fend for themselves, and starve to death.) Then, you say, you come back home. Well, at least you have a home, to come back to. Then you get something to eat. At least you have food on your table. You may have a wife or husband, that gets on your nerves.

Well, as strange as this may sound, at least you have one. Of course, I am referring to one that is a good spouse, that just gets on your nerves, by trying to keep you in line. They want to know everything you do, where you go, and when you will be back home. This is not referring to abusers, or the unfaithful. If you have a good spouse, you have something to rejoice about. So, you see, you have many, many things to rejoice about.

However, many times, we don't feel like rejoicing, because things happen in our lives, that put a burden of heaviness on us, and we are so consumed with these distractions, that we get all bound up. You know what I mean. Things in the past, and the anxiety of what will be coming tomorrow, next week or some future event.

Well, God, wants you to be care free, so you can be in a delightful frame of mind. It is a known, medical fact, that people that are depressed, sad, and worry a lot, will often get sick. Why? Because their bodies, react to their mental condition. Worry, brings on ulcers, high blood pressure, cancer and a host of other ailments, which can, if not corrected early enough, kill you. The depression, causes parts of your body, that fight off these ailments, to shut down. The body becomes too weak to fight off the ailment, and you get sick. But, the bible says, the JOY OF THE LORD, IS YOUR STRENGTH. When you have joy, your body, is in its best shape, because your mind is pumped up, and ready to take on the world. Your body, then, gets energized, and it is ready to take on anything that comes against it.

How, you ask, can I keep from getting depressed? Well, you have to follow the prescription, that God has laid out for us.

First, Jesus said, "TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR TOMORROW, IT WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT FOR TODAY, ARE THE EVILS THEREOF" (MATT. 6:34). What He is saying, is that you don't need to be worrying and fretting, over something that hasn't even happened yet. How many times do you go around, dreading facing a new day, because you think something unpleasant is waiting for you? You can't make the house note, and you might get evicted. The doctor wants you to come to his office, and you are afraid of what they, might tell you. Meeting the new in laws. Hundreds of things. Well, you see, when you do this, you are adding things onto yourself, that just help weigh you down. It's like getting ready to run a race, and you are out there on the track, putting more weight on yourself, and trying to run. It will just wear you out.

The apostle Paul says, about things in the past, ".... FORGETTING THOSE THINGS THAT ARE BEHIND", (PHIL. 3:13). Some of the hardest things to get rid of, are things in the past, that hang around your neck, like a ten ton weight. You may have been molested. You may have been the molester. You may have lost someone dear to you. You may have done someone wrong. Once again, hundreds of things, may have happened. And all of these things, are burned into your memory. But, God is saying, forget about them. But, of course that carries with it, the need to repent, if you were the wrongdoer. If you were done wrong, or lost a loved one, you can't bring the loved one back, and God will handle the wrongdoer, for He says, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." Things in the past, need to remain there. Once again, when running a race, you want to get rid of all the excess baggage, so you can do your best, to come out a winner.

However, it takes something to get pumped up. It takes encouragement. Many times we need someone to encourage us. But, if we look at David, in (1 SAM. 30:6), we see a real remedy. It says, that David, encouraged himself, in the Lord. And let me tell you, David, had it bad. A king named Saul, who was his friend at one time, was trying to kill him. His men, wanted to kill him. Then when he became king, his son, was trying to kill him. So, you see, he had no encouragement, outside of the Lord. It was God's promises to him, that kept him going. David, knew that if everyone else failed him, God was still on his side. David, didn't even encourage himself, in his own ability, because he knew that he could fail too.

Therefore, if you erase all of the past problems, and worries of what may happen tomorrow, then you only have today, to worry about. And really, the way it should go, is you should take the day, second, by second. Minute by minute. If you can do that, and think of what you have, as compared to others, you will find a reason to rejoice. Especially, if you have Jesus Christ, in your life. Only Jesus, can take the heaviness, and worry off of you, and give you joy unspeakable. Then you will have something to really rejoice about.