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

Have you ever noticed those advertisements that boast about how good life can be? They sell a product that can take away those extra pounds in a just a few easy weeks. You can earn thousands, even millions of dollars with this ‘proven method’! You can look younger, smell better, love more often, get the house you always wanted and have more toys than any of your neighbors if you just follow a few simple formulas.

Now, have you ever seen the people who make the claims? How do they look? Tired? Worried? Overweight? Do they look clean-cut or homeless? How do you think they smell? Taken a shower lately or been nowhere near water or soap for few weeks? Are they missing any teeth or showing any signs of bruising?

Most likely your wondering what is going on in my head. The answers to those questions are, “Of course not!” (That is unless you’ve seen some advertisements I’ve not yet seen!) The people that push this product or that product to make our lives completely comfortable and worry-free are well groomed, happy looking and successful. You certainly wouldn’t want to buy something to make your life better from someone who looked sad, depressed, angry or suicidal.

If the Apostle Paul were to do an info-mercial, most likely no one would take him seriously. When he wrote his letter to the Philippians he was old, tired, beaten up, not in the best of health and behind bars. Imagine someone like that telling you, on camera, how good God is and how he can give you joy and freedom!

That’s precisely the message he give us though. Most of the time when we are sick or worried or angry or in physical pain, we focus on our pain, not on happy thoughts. But Paul tells us to keep our mind focuses on the good things God has done for us. Sometimes we have to look hard for the silver lining, but it’s always there. Grace tells us that our outlook on life isn’t based on what is going on around us; it’s based on what is inside of us. Our outlook on life will be one of peace and joy only if we turn everything over to Jesus.

PRAYER: Holy Father, I worship you today for the fact that even though I am enduring many struggles in my life, you are in control of all of them. I worry. I get angry. I try to find someone to blame for all the bad stuff that happens to me. Empower me by your spirit to focus on all the blessings you’ve given me and not on the pain I’m in. I resolve from this day forward to have the attitude of joy that Paul speaks of in Philippians. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

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