Recently, I was looking at the benefits of various dispositions that we can take for our own benefit, and I landed on simply being glad.
Psalm 118:24 says: “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
One might add that God didn’t cause all that’s taking place, so why be glad? Though this may be true, each day given to us is certainly by the grace of God; therefore, we should rejoice and be glad in it, right?
Then, I began to question how acceptable would it be to express such emotions for God? Can you imagine being in the check-out line at Wal-Mart and let out a sound of gladness to the Lord for an unexpected and needed 70 percent discount on your bill? Just how acceptable would that be?
Being glad about what God does is OK at church, but at most other places, well, folks will think we’ve lost our marbles. We’re living in a natural reality that does not accept praise expressions toward God. His place is in church and that ought to be good enough for Him, right?
I can flip out over a huge slice of pizza and talk about it, drooling, until it’s done and reflect on it to others for days and it’s OK. Duh – over pizza?
A hot convertible passes by and I can express excitement at the thought of having one, but get expressive over the one who grants life and breath and another day to live – why that’s absurd, isn’t it?
I can praise my favorite singer, or ask Glen Beck to sign his new book, just for me, while I rant and rave over him to others in line; that’s great, but give that same level of ranting over the Bible, well, that emotion expressed is just not cool or acceptable.
When our team scores, it’s expected that we’d jump up and down, do cartwheels and shout out loud, but being joyful and expressing gladness over the Lord, well, we’re a fanatic, a real nutcase; we must belong to some cult.
The word “glad” means to be merry, to rejoice, to cheer ourselves and others with our joy. It’s being pleased and showing our pleasure. Why can’t that emotion be acceptable anywhere?
Here’s another note on being glad. True gladness is not rooted in selfishness and self-centeredness. It’s not all about me. It’s about what God does for all to make them glad. Yet, when others begin to show signs of prosperity, not many are free of feeling slighted or overlooked. Gladness seems to flee and sadness comes, when it’s not all about me.
We’ve got being glad for ourselves down, but what happens when someone else gets the job that we think we deserve, are we glad? What happens when a check comes in the mail for your friend, when you’re the one who bought them that raffle ticket? Are we glad about it?
The needs surrounding us now, coupled with all the reports of insufficiency, may be opening us up to look out for ourselves.
What happens when it’s just not our turn, when we’re the ones not getting the attention? Where are we when others are favored? Have we forgotten what it says in John 3:16: “God so loved the world that He gave His Son?”
It doesn’t say that He so loved “just me.”
Being glad doesn’t mean that it’s all about what’s going on just for me. There’s an old song that goes like this: “Our day will come and we’ll have everything.” Do you remember it? Our day will come again. In the meantime, we can choose to be glad for others when it’s their turn. We can trust God who is impartial.
Too many emotions come when we see others blessed. Maybe they sowed the seeds to harvest in this blessing time, or maybe it’s time for us to mature and grow up and not allow a trace of jealousy to be found in us at their good fortune.
Our turn will come from the Lord, but it won’t be because we’ve bawled and squalled over what others get or because we think we deserve it more than they do. It will be because we’re glad that others are receiving blessings from the God who loves to bless everyone willing to receive from Him.
So, be glad for me when it’s my turn. Be glad for your friend, neighbor, or boss. Be glad when you see good from God unfolding in someone else’s life. He wants them to have what they need to rejoice and be glad in Him. Be glad.
Pastor Janna Hogan leads Jesus is the Key Church & Ministries, 1701 South Babcock St., Melbourne. Call (321) 724-8434, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jitk.org.