HERE. Thanks to these special ladies Charlotte and Ginger for hosting this event.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep...
I came across this verse this week as I have been studying through the book of Romans in my quiet time. I began to think how many times in this last month I have done just that. Both rejoicing with others and weeping with others. This verse tells us very simply to be sensitive to the circumstances and feelings of those around us, living them with them. At first glance, this seems pretty simple. I can do that. Be happy and rejoice when others around me are happy and fortunate and all is going well. And be sad with someone when they are sad, crying with them and offering comfort and support, again, not too tough right? But then I REALLY thought about it and wondered, how easy is it really to be happy for someone whose circumstances and blessings are abundant and seemingly undeserved, when your life might be at that time in your life, depressing, hard, and overwhelming? When you have been unable to have a child, and have just mis-carried for the third time, and someone else has just safely delivered their fourth child? Or when you have just been laid off from a job you've worked at for 10 years, and someone else lands a promotion and a raise? You are facing eviction or are even homeless, and someone else has just been blessed with a large, wonderful new home? Or how about you suffer from a chronic illness and are forced to live your life homebound most of the time and you watch others going about their lives without much thought or appreciation to what they have? I think maybe most of us would think we are safe from conviction here understanding how someone in one of these situations may not want to rejoice with us. But sometimes it can be something a lot less obvious and dramatic as well, something we all are a lot more likely to feel. Like, everything you think about eating turns into unwanted pounds, and someone else is able to eat everything in sight and still zip up their size 8 jeans? Or someone has just completely refurnished their entire family room for the third time, and their old discarded furniture would be a GIANT improvement in yours? Your neighbors brand new car sitting in the driveway is a sad reminder that yours will have to make do for a LONG time yet. I am sure by now you get my point... I think if we are being honest, many of us might find ourselves battling our old natures many times, which could cause us to be jealous, angry and even bitter over another's blessings in many of these situations
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
It is so much easier to be happy for someone else when all is well with you. But it can be much more difficult to accomplish in those moments when God has allowed a particular set of circumstances in our lives that are both difficult and overwhelming. Even if it is for our ultimate good, or to bring about a desired result. Even if sometimes it might just be so that we might be able to minister to another weary soul who travels a similar road behind us someday.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
In order to live our lives pleasing to Him, we must be living our lives as He would have us, and rejoice in our circumstances, whatever those might be..
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, and again I say, Rejoice.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks ALWAYS for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
To remember our purpose and our mission here on this earth. The only way to accomplish this is to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit, giving our hearts and minds over to Him. Allowing Him to fill us with His love and His power and might. To REALLY know our lives are in His hands and He will bless us in His perfect timing. To understand deep within our hearts that the Lord always has our ultimate good on His heart. That there are seasons and times for everything for everyone. To love with His heart His people around us.
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Ecc 3:1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I don't know about all of you, but this battle of the old man for me is a tough one..It rears it's ugly head every single day, many, many times...I am grateful for the Holy Spirit who is still GREATLY at work in me..and with His help and in His strength I WILL rejoice, with those who rejoice...and sadly, weep with those who weep...