I’m not a health, wealth, and prosperity guy at all. Yet I say without hesitation that God’s will for His people is joy, happiness, rejoicing, and celebration. I believe that is His will for them now and culminates in eternity… in His presence.
Luke 2:10 The angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people…”
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Romans 5:2 Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
As you read those, did you notice some seeming incongruities? Be glad when you’re persecuted (Mt 5)? Rejoice in our sufferings (Ro 5)? Rejoice when we suffer as Christ did (1 Pet 4)?
The only way that happens is as our perspective is focused toward heaven rather than earth. As long as we tie our self worth… joy… contentment… or happiness to this life and/or anything associated with this world, we will lose our joy… eventually.
That doesn’t mean we don’t grieve when hardship, difficulties, or trials are forced upon us. Rather, our grief is not like the rest of the world that has no hope!
The Christian rejoices because their name is written down in heaven… because their sin has been forgiven… because they have access to God’s throne… because their best lies in eternity, not in this life… because “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ…” because Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake them… because their reward in heaven is great… because Jehovah God is their God!
My encouragement for today is this: The next time you are struggling, remember where your treasure is in heaven. Remember that you are no longer an enemy of God. Remember that God is with you always, even to the end of time. Remember that one day you will wake up in heaven and this life will be like nothing more than a bad dream that is over.