What are some things we tend to rejoice in during a normal week, month, or year?
I know the answer to that question varies from person to person and really from week to week. I was thinking about our rejoicing in our recent silent auction. This was our first big fundraiser, and it was incredible. We reached the very lofty goal we set of $20,000 in our very first year of holding the auction, and I can hardly think of anything that could have made it better. This was something to rejoice in because GOD was and is clearly leading this ministry.
But then I began thinking about how easy it is to begin to rejoice in the wrong things. I began to think about how easy it is for me to substitute the true joy I find in Christ with the false joy that can be found in the world, and it is very dangerous to us in our walk with Christ. What I mean is that I can begin to rejoice in the outcome of the silent auction rather than the GOD who controls everything that happened that night. Just like I can begin to lead All Things New in the wisdom of this world rather than the wisdom of GOD, or I can live my life seeking the help and approval of people rather than the help and approval of GOD.
I thought about this when this thought ran through my mind…”What if the silent auction had only brought in $2000?” Would it have been a failure? What if GOD, in His infinite wisdom, had made it more difficult to do some of the things that we have been doing? Does that make Him less GOD? No. I began to realize how dangerous it can be to judge our lives or ministries on outcomes. Does GOD love the person who lost their child to a car accident less than those who did not? Does He love ministries that are financially thriving more than those that are not?
I also understand that this is a fine line. Is it ok to rejoice in the ways that GOD blesses us…Absolutely! He encourages us and blesses us in so many ways that to not rejoice in those things would be to miss out on some great things in this life. My point is, I don’t want to rejoice in worldly outcomes at the expense of rejoicing in an awesome GOD!
John 10:20 says this:
“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”
Wow! These men had just been sent out by Jesus Himself, and they were rejoicing in what they were able to do. They were even able to drive out demons in the name of Christ, how awesome is that. But Jesus said something kind of unexpected. He said those things that you saw, did, and are rejoicing in are nothing compared to the fact that your name is written in the Book of Life…You will get to spend eternity with your Father in Heaven.
I am writing this blog to remind myself of this point. It is ok for me to be happy when GOD blesses our ministry and good things happen. But it is never ok for me to find my joy in anything but the love of Christ and the fact that He died on the Cross for me and because of that I get to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Everything else is temporary, but my name being written in the Book of Life is forever, it will be there for eternity, and I will be in the presence of my GOD not for 70 years or 100 years or 10,000 years…I will be in the presence of my GOD for eternity. And guess what, I will be no closer to understanding the incredible glory of GOD in 10,000,000 years than I am right now because that glory is eternal. And each day I will get to bask in the eternal wonder, majesty, and glory of my GOD, so let’s go ahead and start that now. No matter what happens, let’s find our joy in the fact that our eternity is secure, our hope is sure, and our GOD is eternally awesome!