All of my life, in every season—I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship. (Excerpt from Desert Song ©2008 Hillsong Music Publishing)
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It’s always darkest before the dawn. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Cliches—all of them. They all serve their purpose and for the most part I have found them to be true and applicable in certain cases. But you can’t fit life into a cliche. You can’t walk through adversity clinging only to a flippant statement. When you are walking through a trial; however big or small—you are going to need to find a reason to rejoice. A reason to look your foe in the face—whether it be a person, circumstance, illness, etc—and say, “this looks bad BUT GOD…”
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is found in Daniel chapter 3 where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stand up for God and find themselves in the fiery furnace. The key part of this story comes in verse 17 and 18, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” BUT IF NOT. That is a powerful statement. We need to understand that God may not always remove us from our circumstances. In fact the Bible tells us in John 16:33 that “in this world we will have tribulation.” That being the case, we need to be the “but if not” kind of Christians. We need to be able to stand in the midst of the trial and have the “no matter what” kind of trust. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had that kind of trust and faith in their God and in the middle of their fiery furnace He was in the midst of them. We need to have that same conviction that God IS ABLE to deliver us from any circumstance, BUT IF NOT we will not bow our knee to the enemy. Ever.
The last part of John 16:33 says, “but be of good cheer [rejoice]; I have overcome the world.” I have found in reading the Word of God that He doesn’t ever make suggestions. He’s not saying “if you get a chance, you might” or “if you feel like it.” He just says, “rejoice!” And there are so many reasons to do so. We can rejoice that our healing has been provided for—body, soul, and spirit. We can rejoice for His provision. We can rejoice for his deliverance. And so many more promises that He has given us. But Jesus tells that the only reason to rejoice is found in Luke 10:19-20.
Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” All those other things are good—that we have authority over ALL the power of the enemy. But we are to rejoice that our names are written in heaven. We need to come to the realization that we are created to be eternal beings—this life truly is but a vapor. When our time here is done, when our earthly pilgrimage is over—we will be with him. And that, my friends, is a reason to rejoice!