Be Joyful

"It blew up right before my eyes," the person says as they're recounting the story.  It's the realization of the worst possible scenario.  Things looked bright and promising and success was on the horizon.  Then things crumbled in front of them leaving little trace of what was once so beautiful.  Misunderstandings, ignorance, opposition and factors beyond their control all played a role in the disaster.  Now they were left to somehow deal with broken pieces in hopes of resolving a seemingly hopeless situation.  Does this sound like something you've experienced?  


This situation is all too common and has been the theme of many movies.  In fact, during this time of year we are flooded with an abundance of Hallmark movies where the plot is always the same.  Things are going well between two people, the relationship takes off and love blossoms in a beautifully romantic way.  Then things take a wrong turn and through no fault of their own, their world falls apart amid misunderstandings and ignorance.  I watch those movies and want to shake those people up.  I want to tell them, "It's not what you think, you've come to the wrong conclusion, check it out before giving up, the truth will come out" but, alas, they suffer unnecessarily.  I anxiously wait for the resolution knowing it will all turn out fine in the end.  Here comes the next Hallmark movie.  WHY do I keep watching them?!


I wish life was that simple but it's not.  Sometimes it really IS that bad and no amount of truth will change the circumstances.  However, just like the characters in all those Hallmark movies, our mourning will turn into joy.  The movies rely on circumstances to dictate the change in attitude.  For Christians, our joy is not dependent on circumstances that are forever changing.  More permanent and effective are the circumstances of Jesus' death and resurrection.  He CONQUERED death!  That knowledge alone should give us joy but there's more.  It's about the inner change of a person's heart and mind resting in knowing God's indescribable personal presence.  We develop an attitude of gratitude that begins with our thankfulness to God and spreads out to encompass all life, including people we come in contact with.  It's a God-given joy that transcends circumstances and affects our inner being.  Paul says "Rejoice in the Lord always:  and again I say, Rejoice." (Philippians 4:4)  Pharrell Williams says in his song "Happy," 

"It might seem crazy what I am 'bout to say, Sunshine, she's here, you can take a break.  I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space, With the air, like I don't care, baby by the way,

     (Because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

     (Because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

     (Because I'm happy) Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

     (Because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do."  


In other words, 'just be happy no matter what."  Is that a Pollyanna attitude?  Perhaps, but consider what Pollyanna said, "… if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do itSOME."  Pharrell Williams is right when he says, "… happiness is the truth."  So, may your joy grow as you reflect on God's presence and may this knowledge overflow in an Attitude of Gratitude to everyone this Thanksgiving! 

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)

Pastor Vicki