Command of Christ #3

Good afternoon! I am really excited to share this command with you! (I timed it and it took me less then 3 minutes to read this-including the Scripture refrences, you can do it!!!) The command this week is to 'Rejoice.' Jesus said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. REJOICE, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:10-12).

Someone was telling me about a mother who had just had a miscarriage, and had others in the past. They really wanted to have children, but after being pregnant for many months, would lose the baby. Everytime they lost a baby, they were saddened, but the mother commented that she felt bad for those who never had hardships and never had to go through tough times because they did not get that opprotunitty to grow closer to God and learn from the trials.

To rejoice is to be able to thank God, like this mother, in troubles, trials, persecutions, and trying times knowing that God is in complete control and works all things together for good. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
To rejoice is to know that God will never give us anything that we cannot handle, but uses trials to build our character and to bring us to see our need for Him.

How to Rejoice in Trials:

1) THANK GOD. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thess. 5:18). This command often begins with a choice to rejoice; we will seldom feel like jumping for joy when our car breaks down, so we must obey first and the feelings will follow. Thank God in prayer, verbally, and in song. Thank Him for His purposes in the trial.

2) FIND REASONS TO REJOICE. "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). When we suffer for Christ's sake and with a godly response, then our reward in heaven will far outweigh the troubles we face now. (See II Pet. 4:12-14).

3) ENGRAFT RHEMAS. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (Greek: rhema) of God" (Romans 10:17). Rhemas are special passages to us that we memorize and meditate upon so God can bring them to our minds in our time of need. I remember when I was a new Christian I came upon a verse that practically lept off the pages, it was like someone had highlighted it and circled it. I got up and excitedly told my parents about the verse, not even knowing what it meant. I was so excited about this verse that I even made my email based on it. Since then, God has never impressed to me a Scripture like that. The verse was Job 23:10, "But He knoweth the way that I take, when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." When I first read it, I thought that it meant that before I became a Christian I was like a rock, but after becoming a Christian I was like new gold. God was giving me a rhema, but I never memorized it and meditated on it. This past year I went through a time of suffering where I was really struggling and felt so confused. God reminded me of this verse and I looked it up; I finally understood what God was really meaning in this verse! He was telling me that I will go through trials that He has ordained, but I will come out better, like purified gold. If I would have kept this in my heart over the past years, I wouldn't have been surprised when trials came, but would have been quick to rejoice knowing that God was trying to turn me into a substance more valuable.

-Do you view trials as God's way of bringing you to spiritual maturity?
-What Scripture verse (rhemas) has God given you to strengthen you in trials? Have you memorized and meditated on them?
-Is your first response in trials, persecutions, and undesirable situations to thank God?
-What is a present trial in your life that you can find reason to rejoice in now?

God has been showing me that this is a command that will take my whole life to get better at and may be one of the hardest to put into practice. With His Word though, we will have the power to endure. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

(some notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ study guide)

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