It’s Mug Monday! Our summer series is almost over. Enjoy today’s wisdom from the side of a coffee mug! “A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition!”
Picture the most positive person you know, that “glass half-full” friend. She’s the one who always has a good word and a smile, even when things aren’t going her way. I do know a few people like that. But I’m not one of them. My glass is usually “half-empty.”
Today’s “coffee mug wisdom” implies that a cheerful attitude is possible all the time. Really? Trials, pain, loss, and grief fill the world and spill into our lives on a regular basis.
Do you believe you can be joyful when everything is crashing down around you? Do you buy that?
The apostle Paul sure did. In his first letter to the believers in Thessalonica, he commanded them to “be joyful always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Paul repeatedly told believers to rejoice (Romans 5:11, Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4-7). And he wasn’t the only one. James and Peter did too (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:3-7). And it sure wasn’t because their lives were trouble-free. No, they lived lives of joy despite their earthly circumstances.
“Joy” is primarily a verb in Paul’s writings. Paul himself demonstrated how a believer can actively choose to “rejoice in the Lord” despite the condition of our physical circumstances. We humans are so physically focused. We tend to allow the stuff of earth to capture our attention and fill our thoughts. Yet, real joy can only be fostered when we focus on our spiritual circumstances.
Christ and His saving work creates eternal reasons for us to rejoice. His presence and power in our lives. His working in and around us. The comfort and guidance of His Spirit within us. Our sure hope of eternal life with Him. Christ is our source of real, lasting joy. He is our joyful “circumstance.”
A constant attitude of rejoicing does indeed transcend our earthly circumstances because it is founded in the eternal. We can even rejoice in and through earthly trials because we know that God is using them to accomplish His spiritual transformation within us (1 Peter 1:3-7 and James 1:2-4).
Today, let’s choose to focus on our eternal circumstances and our spiritual condition rather than our temporary circumstances and our physical condition. What are some practical ways we can do that?