“It is a choice to rejoice!”
Sometimes as human beings we get flooded with emotions so powerful it is as if our minds and even our bodies become under their control. When this occurs, it seems we have only two choices: give in to our emotions, or fight back and try to control them. But, what if there is a third option? Let God take control. As self-willed, independent beings, it is hard to not think of ourselves as superior than everything and in control all the time. This is far from the truth, because it is God--not us--who is the most powerful being. This is why we need to start trusting Him more day to day.
Two great examples of choosing to rejoice are Habakkuk and Job. Habakkuk was told that the Jewish nation was about to face exile at the hands of their enemies. Job faced numerous tragedies in his life. Both these men faced great adversity and in the beginning their emotions took over and they questioned themselves and God. Why me? Have we not been acting righteous? How could we, your chosen people fall to such lowly nonbelievers? Job is a good reminder that bad things are going to happen in our life, sometimes without a clear reason, but with God we can and will prevail. Habakkuk helps remind us that as Christians we are not immune from sinning or doing wrong and that God is no favorer of persons.
We must do our best to avoid comparing ourselves to others. Such actions will only lead to jealousy, pride, self-doubt, or even to other traps such as self-fulfilling prophecies and dwelling too much on the past. As we go through trials and struggles in our life, turning to God is key: both Habakkuk and Job did this at the end of their books and both felt relief and blessings because of it. As we go throughout this week, let us try not to archetype the people we meet, let us not beat ourselves down or try to be stubborn on being independent. Rather let us be the example that Christ and the Bible teaches us to be, let us seek help and the love of God and others, and let us strive to be wise. Remember: with God you are braver than you seem, stronger than you believe, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know!
Inspired by these verses: Habakkuk 1, 2, 3; Job 38-42.
Other supporting verses: 2 Corinthians 10:9-12; Philipians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 10:6-14; John 21:20-23.