Chapter 23
Worship, Rejoice, and Give Thanks!

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
(Psalm 95:6)

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!
(Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
(1Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 118:29 136:1)

What have you been focusing on recently?  God’s goodness, his love, and his provision for you?  Or, have you been focusing on your own trials and difficulties?  Have you been thankful to God for saving you, or have you been mostly grumbling and complaining to God?  Have you been rejoicing in the Lord, or cursing his creation?

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  (Psalm 118:24)

Which do you prefer to be around:  people who rejoice and are glad, or people who grumble and complain?  Which do you prefer for yourself:  rejoicing and gladness, or grumbling and complaining?  God calls us to rejoice and be glad.

No matter how bad your circumstances are, if you are a child of God you can thank God for sending Jesus to save you, and you can thank God and rejoice that your trials are temporary!

Consider Jesus’ statement to those who are persecuted:

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matthew 5:11-12)

We should all be able to say, along with Peter:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  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, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  (1Peter 1:3-9)

If you are a follower of Jesus, you have a glorious future.  Your trials in this life, no matter how severe, are temporary.

Worshiping, rejoicing, and giving thanks to God are keys to an empowered spiritual life.

What about you?  Will you choose each day to worship, rejoice, and give thanks to God?

For Further Reflection

Numbers 14:27-35:  Grumbling against the LORD.

2Chronicles 20:21-22:  Praise and singing ahead of victory.

Psalm 145:  A Psalm of praise.

Luke 4:5-8:  Worship the Lord only.

Acts 16:22-26:  Praying and singing in prison.

Colossians 3:16:  Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

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