The Art of Rejoicing

The Bible encourages us to ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice.’ (Romans 12:15a), but do we truly rejoice with others? I witnessed a sad and confused little face at church one Sunday morning, and oh how I wanted to make it better. This little elementary-aged student happily greeted one of her adult friends as they entered the church. They then proceeded to announce quite proudly that they had just signed up for a special activity and that their lessons would begin soon. The response of the adult –

“I know, I saw that on Facebook.” 

The words weren’t necessarily the problem, but the tone of voice was. The child obviously felt dismissed and the joy on their face dissolved. I quickly intervened and celebrated with this little one on their upcoming adventure as the other adult moved on down the hallway. Now, I know the other adult intended no ill will at all. They were just numb to the ‘old news,’ and didn’t realize the impact that their response, or lack thereof, created in that child’s life. I was glad that God put me there at that particular moment in time so that I could ‘rejoice with those who rejoice.’

Why did this exchange between child and adult bother me so much? Because I’ve been on the other end of that conversation too – when my news was the old news and my excitement was dismissed. And truth be told, I’ve probably been guilty of giving a numb response to others from time to time and that realization truly saddens me now too.

So, this week I was determined to intentionally celebrate and rejoice with others in their moments of joy. I wanted to see where God was working and rejoice in His goodness. And God didn't let me down. 

I rejoiced with…
  • A young lady who had just signed up for soccer.
  • A glowing, round-bellied mommy to be!
  • A new property owner whose game cam captured pictures of bucks, gobblers and bear!
  • A bride and groom on their wedding day.
  • A new grandma who sent me some adorable pictures of her granddaughter.
  • A senior in high school who just got an internship
  • A birthday boy
  • A friend who had a successful surgery.

…and that’s not the end of the list, but you get the point. 

There are people and situations all around us that are worth rejoicing in. God is present and working all around us. Yes, we may have already heard the news of someone’s accomplishments or upcoming activities, but why allow ourselves to slip into the ‘old news’ trap and not take the opportunity to celebrate the big and little joys of life with our friends and loved ones?

And, if you genuinely have a day, or week, when you don’t have someone or something to celebrate, God’s Word also reminds us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ (Philippians 4:4) Let’s not let a day slip by without rejoicing with others and with our Savior!

Who will you rejoice with today?


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