Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

You tell us to rejoice. That sounds good. It sounds appealing. It sounds up. It's a good alternative to feeling down or even just blah. It feels good to rejoice.

And yet, Father, 'always'? Are we to rejoice all the time? That is what You say. 'Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.' Really?

There is so much evil in the world. And it seems to be getting worse. It makes plenty of sense to rejoice as we celebrate victories in our lives, times when things are going so very well. But what about the other times? Are we to rejoice all the times evil touches our lives or the lives of those whom we love? Are we to rejoice all those times when life hurts? Is it even possible to do that? It doesn't make sense.

But You have been clear. We are to rejoice always.

We are grateful that You have explained how it is that we can do this. You have explained that nothing happens unless You want it to happen. And strangely, that even includes the evil things that come our way. Even those things happen because You want them to. And You've told us that You have all of these things happen, the good and the bad, because You are moving us toward a goal, a really good goal. And when we reach that goal, life will be so amazing, simply amazing. Evil is a tool that You will use to get us there. But then it will be destroyed, no longer necessary.

So, it seems that it all boils down to trusting You that You know what You're doing. We need to trust You, especially when life is all confusing, and it seems that what You're doing is just wrong. We are to trust You and rejoice.

That seems like too much. But we can do it. We can do it because we have Your Spirit. Because of Him, we can trust You and rejoice. There will be times when we will need to do this through tears of sorrow. Evil hurts. But we can still rejoice. And we can rejoice because whatever happens is happening because You think that it's the best way to get to that glorious goal.

So, Father, we would ask that, by Your Spirit, You would give us what we need so that we would trust You enough to rejoice and to do that always, in the good times and in the bad.

We ask for this so that our lives will reveal something of Your beauty to the people around us. We ask for this so that we can make You look as good as You really are. And we ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Philippians 4.4

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