“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
–Psalm 118:24 (NLT)
If you need to hear some good news today, you’ve come to the right place. God wants us to live lifestyles of celebration.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have anything to celebrate.” But you are wrong, my friend. You are alive, and that in itself is a reason to celebrate. Also, if you are a follower of Christ, you can cling to His Words.
The idea of celebration can be seen from cover to cover in the Bible. For example, during the feast of Passover, the children of Israel celebrated their freedom from Egypt. In the New Testament, Jesus is seen as the fulfillment of that freedom. He said that He came to give us an abundant life, so it is possible to live in the fullness of His joy.
“But if that’s true,” you ask, “then why is my life so empty?” That’s a good question, so let’s sort it out together.
Jesus never said that life wouldn’t be hard, but He did say that He had overcome the world. Christ overcame when He rose from the grave. Now, He longs to walk with you, helping you to endure life’s pain.
But like the foolish man in the Bible who built his house on the sand, instead of living lives filled with the celebration of God’s blessings, we often build our lives on the sands of substitution. So let’s look at one of the ways in which we do this.
Instead of God’s goodness, we often celebrate trivial or unimportant things. The National Day Calendar lists 3 or 4 different holiday titles for each day of the year. Some examples include National Ravioli Day, National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, and National Goof-off’s Day. While some of these holidays may be hillarious and brighten our day, I think they also speak of an underlying sickness.
Jesus spelled out this sickness in a similar story in the scriptures. Here, He speaks about a rich farmer who was filled with greed. He already owned more than enough, but he decided to bulldoze his barns down and build bigger ones. He thought he would make room for more stuff that way, and store up for the future. Then he could live the good life, kick back, and relax. Isn’t that much the same thing you and I do today?
Therefore, I see this story as a challenge, for when the man was finished with his project, God called him a fool. He was definitely rich in material things, but he wasn’t rich in his attitude towards God.
Being rich in this way means learning to enjoy God in all of His fullness. But that fullness only comes when a person learns to enjoy the blessings of God which surround them, instead of constantly looking for new toys.
If we are honest, all of us dwell on what we don’t have, to the exclusion of what we do possess. We ultimately find that material things don’t satisfy in the long run, and we are back at square one. Then the vicious circle starts all over again, and we desire more and more.
But through God’s power, we can fill this empty void, and that materialistic attitude can change completely. As we submit to Him by aligning our thinking with God’s Word, a reformation will occur in our hearts.
I am sure you have heard the term “reformation” used when speaking about the church, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that definition. According to Siri, the word “reformation” is defined as “the action or process of reforming an institution or practice.” Therefore, I would like to look at reformation in light of the practice of celebration.
As we find ourselves becoming richer toward God, life will take on a new beauty. But one reason that many people don’t draw closer to God is because they entertain the wrong picture of Him. They may see Him as a cruel and vindictive police officer, instead of the God of love which the Bible is quick to proclaim.
Let me put it this way. Let’s say you were about to buy a new house. On the outside it’s beautiful, and it seems to be everything you want. So you make an appointment with a realtor the next day, but you’re disappointed because the inside of the house is nothing like you thought it would be. You leave without looking back, but a few weeks later you get a call from the realtor.
“Remember that house you liked on Grand Street?” he says.
“How could I forget?”
“Well, I’d like to show it to you again. The price has gone down, and we’ve made some changes.”
You Reluctantly agree, and when you walk in the second time, you are astonished. Everything looks pretty much like you imagined it would before, and you ask the realtor what he has done.
“Oh, we just put up some pictures and slapped on a coat of paint.”
“Well, whatever you did, it’s great!”
With an elated smile, you sign the papers right then and there.
Often, that story is like our concept of God, so before going any further, let me ask you what your concept of Him really is. Like that house, we must change the picture we have of Him, but the $64 question is, “how?”
in order to do this, the Bible tells us that we must draw closer to Him. But unfortunately, it is this inaccurate view which often keeps us from doing that. We have already seen that filling the void in our lives with stuff isn’t the answer.
“What is it, then?” you wonder. The Bible’s answer is that instead of filling your life with useless things, make a trade. Come to God just as you are, and get alone with Him in a quiet place where you can’t be distracted. Just be honest with Him, and decide that you will no longer be dominated by fear’s reign.
If you have had an abusive childhood, or something else keeps you from trusting His fatherhood, pour your heart out to God. While the feelings may or may not come right away, it is imperative that you act first. This is not faking it, but faithing it, as His word is faithful. Take baby stepps, and the feelings will follow.
God is simply saying to all of us, “Why live a life of emptiness, when My Spirit can bring you fullness? I only want the best for you, and I long to cause a reformation in your heart as I mold and shape your life. Team up with Me, taking My yoke on your shoulders, and learn to celebrate My fullness today. My arms are open wide to you, so that you can live with me on a new and more fulfilling plane.”
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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“A Celebration Reformation”, by T. H. Cayne
“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”