“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”(Philippians 4:4 NIV)
It’s that time of the year when people greet you with “Happy New Year” – in shops, on the street, at parties & at Church too. Even if you hardly know them, it’s customary to respond in the same way.
Sometimes though, I find myself wondering if indeed I will be happy in the coming year. As time goes by, my physical problems seem to get worse & I hear again the words of a specialist who told me I’d probably end up in a wheelchair & only be able to work for about 10 years.
Up until now, he has proved to be wrong with those forecasts. While there has definitely been deterioration over the 20 plus years, & I am no longer able to work full-time, I have a better quality of life than the scary picture he painted for me then.
But pain is still hard & the journey of chronic illness can be a lonely, depressing one at times. Is it still possible to be “happy” as we commence another year?
Paul’s words to us in Philippians encourage us to always be rejoicing in the Lord. My Thesaurus gives alternate words for rejoice of; celebrate; express joy; be pleased about; cheer; delight; & others.
While it may seem hard to be delighting or celebrating our physical limitations, or pleased about the things we have lost in our lives, we can still be rejoicing & celebrating in our Lord & Saviour & the difference only He can make in our lives.
Our circumstances on the surface, may seem hard to face, but the knowledge that God is still in control & His plan for us hasn’t changed, give us a great reason to rejoice. God can change our hearts, so we can be happy with our circumstances.
Father God, please bless us as we enter a new year with whatever it holds. Help us to rejoice in You, because You are greater than any circumstance we find ourselves in. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful for the difference God makes in her life as she lives with chronic pain. She enjoys finding time for writing, reading, travel & photography.