We all know those people who no matter what is going on in their lives they seem to find the good and positive. If their car runs out of gas in the rain, they will say at least it isn’t snowing and laugh as they walk to the closest gas station. These are the people who never seem to be down for long despite the worst-case scenario. They put Phillippians 4:4 into practice daily, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” The world calls these people an optimist. Being able to find positivity in everything sounds wonderful right? But unfortunately, for many people, it seems more like a pipe dream than a reality. I don’t know about you but I could really use that kind of positivity in my life, I would love to be able to find happiness even when things are not going well. So the question that comes to mind is, "how do we make Philippians 4:4 a reality"?
We all know that it is easy to rejoice and be joyful when things are going our way but what about when everything is going wrong and we can’t seem to see a break in sight. How can we see the positivity in the reality of a sinful world? It is not a secret that we live in a broken and sinful world that is filled with pain, suffering, hate, evil, and judgment. Although we live in this world we don’t have to be a part of the pain and suffering, God gives us a way to be in the world without being of the world. In my opinion, we can overcome all of the negativity and pain of the world by allowing our mindset to be transformed and giving up control. We have to allow ourselves to look at the bigger picture and remember that minor setbacks will not affect our existence for the rest of our lives. We also have to allow God to be in control and focus on His plan not our own. Personally, I have found that when things go bad and I try to fix it I just end up making it worse but when things go bad and I give it to God, He is able to lead me through to a better and brighter outcome. When we try to fix the issue we are doing it with a very limited vision of only our current situation but God is able to see the entire picture and is able to lead us towards the best outcome for not only that situation but also our future. When God is in control we can breathe easy and rejoice in the fact that our future is secure even if we get sidetracked by inconveniences.
Over the last few years, I have learned a lot from the people God places around me. For example, I have found that the most joyful people I know have experienced some of the greatest pain and loss yet somehow they still remain upbeat and happy. It makes me wonder what allows them to rejoice and be happy even on the worst of days. I have noticed that they are not doing this because of their own strength or understanding but because of God’s. They know there is a bigger and better plan than what we can see. They have accepted that they may not understand the plan but if God is in control then life will turn out the way God designed it to I strive to be like those people who no matter the circumstance they remain confident in the power of the Lord and lean into His plan when life gets tough. They lean into God when things get rough because they know He is the only source of real comfort. Although other things might bring temporary relief, only God can give us the comfort we really need.
I don’t want to lead you to believe that if you change your mindset that everything is going to be all fun and games and nothing bad will ever happen. That is very far from the truth, there are a lot of really bad things that happen in this world that we cannot and should not rejoice about. I want you to remember that God has a reason for allowing all of these things to happen, but I also want to remind you that the devil also has powers in this world and he can put bad situations into effect to attempt to sidetrack us from the plan that God has for us. We all must be mindful and on alert when it comes to attacks from the devil. God gives us all of the resources we need in His Spirit, His children, and His words (The Bible) to withstand these attacks. Lean into those resources when things get tough and it will make it much easier to see what is of God and what is of the devil.
I challenge you this week to rejoice in all things! The good and the bad, knowing that God has a plan for your life.