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Devotional love project entry four

Have you ever thought about the word rejoice? We run across it in scripture.It means to be glad and to possess joy. We know these words and their meanings. Being glad means you're happy or pleased or thankful, while being joyful is about delight or elation. We all rejoice, whether it's the start of a new school year or a successful wedding, a desired job or the victory of a favorite team. The emotional rush we receive at these moments intoxicates us and becomes something we remember long afterward. Rejoicing is part of being alive.

While we can tie our idea of rejoicing to times and events, God doesn't. He sees rejoicing as something to seek out at all times and in every circumstance. He desires us to rejoice not only always, but in every way. He wants us to rejoice with singing and shouting; He wants us to rejoice in quiet times; He wants us to rejoice through the tears and grief we encounter. Each moment gives us opportunities to do this seemingly uncomfortable thing. And in our discomfort, or disillusionment, or fear, or anger, we must rejoice.

My mother died three days after her ninety-third birthday. I was about to fly three thousand miles to visit her on the west coast; instead, I traveled to New England for her funeral. I felt the grief from losing her, but the pain was tempered by the knowledge that, after thirty-five years, Mum and Dad were back together again. My siblings, however, were devastated. The idea that Mum was dead weighed them down, and they couldn't recover their equilibrium, their certainty, or their sense of balance. Mum, an anchor in all our lives, was gone. And they couldn't feel Jesus providing them mooring at that time. They couldn't be happy for Mum and Dad's reunion, because they couldn't imagine a cause for rejoicing.

In the beautiful, easy, happy times, rejoicing is easy. But when things are frightening, ugly, and dark, we don't recall there's a reason for joy. Our reason is Jesus. We are never alone. He stated He'd be with us always, and He keeps his promises. Agonizing, humiliated, and betrayed, we are not alone. Abandoned, confused, and despondent, we are not alone. In every hard moment He is there. That is our reason for rejoicing. We are not, are never, alone. He is there, with us, always.

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