I must admit that I struggled with this some, recently. How can one rejoice when things just aren’t going very well. What kind of God requires that I pepper him with praise while he seemingly sits back and, yes, supports me, but allows me to go through something I don’t particularly like. These are the two things I have learned – they are both in the Bible somewhere, I am sure, but it is different when you experience them first hand.
- God never allows anything in our lives that isn’t going to end up being very good for us. In other words, God loves us more than we can imagine and is always working things for our betterment, which in the end makes us happier (yes, happier, not just joyful) than we were before the thing we didn’t like happened.
- God doesn’t ask us to rejoice always for His sake. He asks us to do that for our sake. And not because if we do it we will get more of His blessing, though we might. He asks us to do that because it causes us to be constantly reminding ourselves of His love for us, so that when tough situations come, we are ready for them – we aren’t tricked into thinking that God isn’t for us, or whatever other lie out there Satan tries to use to destroy us. Also, when good situations come, we aren’t tempted to leave God and try life on our own, either, because we know where that good came from.
So rejoice always, in the good and bad times, not because God needs it, but because we need to be continually reminding ourselves of His love and goodness toward us.