On the night of the Forth, I sat on my back patio looking for fireworks. While the trees blocked my view, I could hear throughout the city the percussion booms of fireworks exploding in the air. It was a rather eerie feeling, as I sat their hoping to see the source of the booms; desiring to catch a glimpse of the sparkle and glitter of the fireworks. A strange thought crossed my mind–this is the same sound that a family would hear in war-torn country. The night air filled with explosions, uncertain of which direction they came from. However, rather than longing to see the source, they would be prayerfully begging the booms to go further and further away.
Two responses to the same noise: One filled with wonder and excitement, for another filled with worry and dread.
Our worldviews and experiences can determine how we respond to the same set of stimuli.
The same came be said for how we view God.
Sometimes, we are filled with wonder and joy; At other points we are filled with dread and fear.
So when Paul tells us in Philippians to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice…Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests before God” it is sometimes a confirmation of the joy we have found in the Lord. Yet another time we read this it may be a wild concept that challenges us to find the joy of the Lord in times of deep pain.
From what direction are you viewing God? Are you able to rejoice in the Lord today? What may be preventing you?