Wage War by Rejoicing

By Trillia Newbellrejoice rock

On Sunday one of my pastors announced that I am in the process of writing a book.  He then had the congregation join him in praying for me.  It was a very kind announcement and I was thankful for his prayers.

After the service I found myself thanking a few friends for their encouragement. “Thank you,” I’d say. But then I’d remark with my eyes down something like, “I know it’s so crazy.”  My friends are beaming with excitement and rejoicing and I am awkwardly grinning.

This is a failed attempt to bring God glory. It’s a way for me to try to divert the attention away from myself but the response is always, “Oh, but Trillia, you are so….”  Where is the attention now? On Me! False humility isn’t humility. I don’t want to pretend that I am not excited. I don’t want to recite the words, “to God be the glory” like a rehearsed school girl trying to get an “A.” I want to rejoice and be glad and have fun and be excited. God has given me a gift! What a kind God!

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who struggles with receiving good gifts from God and rejoicing. We have been told that sharing good news can be a manifestation of pride. We have been told that if you mention yourself it’s good evidence that you are boasting. And then let’s just be honest, we are proud. So then there’s that inward battle—perhaps too much of an inward focus as Trevin Wax shares—that we are fighting against also.

Paul knows what I’m going through. He, too, experienced the tension between wanting to do what is right and failing miserably when he writes, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand” (Romans 7:21-22).

Wage War by Rejoicing

My battle with pride won’t be won by trying not to be proud. It’s like training for a 5K road race having never once taken a step on the road. You might get somewhere but it will be drudgery. I want to step out in faith during moments of encouragement and rejoice. Rejoice not in myself but in that God has created me, redeemed me, received me, given me good things, and now is sending me out.

It really is all about God. He has done all these things.

If you have received salvation He has done the ultimate work of grace in your life. From there it only gets sweeter. It gets harder because we see ourselves for what we are, but it gets sweeter because we see Jesus for who He is. We know Jesus sacrificed himself on our behalf and now he wants to pour out grace and gifts and good things. It gets sweeter because, as we grow and come to the understanding that sin is right there, we also know that grace is greater than our sin. We know that God views us as covered by the blood of Christ, as righteous (Romans 4: 6-8, Romans 4:22-25).

How can I not rejoice? I’m going to rejoice and thank God for his good gifts! Will you join me in rejoicing in what God has done in your life?

So the next time someone comes to you to encourage you receive it, thank God for it, and then thank God that He has done that work in your life. What a good God we serve!

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17)

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