December 12, 2014

 

Philippians 4:4-9The Choice to Rejoice
Good Christian Men, Rejoice

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Charles Swindoll in 2004 entitled How to Avoid Being a Walking Contradiction – a Joyless Christian:

          It so happened that an 82-year-old man, who had served as a pastor for more than 50 years,
          in his later years began to battle with skin cancer, leaving him disfigured and extremely bitter.
          He found himself becoming more and more of a recluse until he read the book, You Gotta Keep  
          Dancing, by Tim Hansel, in which the author encourages the reader not to let any situation take
          charge of one’s attitude of joy.

          After reading a while, the elderly pastor said he put the book down and said, “That man is crazy. I    
          cannot choose joy.” So, he gave up on the idea, but then he later read in John 15:11 that joy is a gift.
          Jesus said, “I want to give My joy so that your joy may be complete.” A gift, he thought. A gift. He
          didn’t know what to do. So he got on his knees, not knowing exactly what to say, but managed to
          stammer, “Well, then, Lord, give it to me!”

          Suddenly, as he describes it, this incredible hunk of joy landed on him. He said, “I was overwhelmed—it
          was like the joy talked about in Peter—a joy unspeakable and full of glory. I didn’t know what to say, so
          I said, ‘Turn it on, Lord! Turn it on!’” And before he knew it, he was dancing around the house! He said,
          “After all, the book is called You Gotta Keep Dancing.”

          He just had to get out of the house and tell somebody! So, he went down to the local fast food restaurant
          and got a hamburger, and the woman at the counter saw how happy he was and said, “How are you
          doing today?”

          And he said, “I’m wonderful!”

          “Is it your birthday?” she asked.

          “No, it’s better than that!”

          “Is it your anniversary?”

          “Better than that! It’s the joy of Jesus!”

May we all find the joy of Jesus—a gift we receive, a choice we make every day regardless of our circumstances. May we rejoice in it with heart and soul and voice!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to saved
Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!