Why We Should Rejoice When God Blesses Others

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. ?Romans 12:1

Why is it so hard to rejoice when God blesses others?

We think Why didn’t he bless me like that? Why didn’t he give me a nice a house? Why did he answer their prayers and not mine? ?

Cain winced when God blessed Abel. ?Saul ground his teeth when the people shouted, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” ?When the Pharisees heard the people praise Jesus, they seethed. ?Contrast with John the Baptist. ?When crowds thronged to Jesus and John’s followers dwindled, said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

It should be the most natural thing for us to rejoice when God blesses others because he’s crowned us spiritual billionaires. We’re joint-heirs with Christ. He’s our great treasure and all his riches are ours. ?God himself dwells in us, guides, protects, cares for us. An eternity of joy in his presence looms before us.

When we don’t rejoice when God blesses others it shows we don’t appreciate all he’s has done for us.

It shows we treasure material and temporal things more than our great salvation and treasure, Jesus. ?We’ve taken our eyes off the one who blesses and forgotten how generous he’s been with us. We’re self-centered and aren’t looking to the interests of others.

In heaven we’ll be glad to see God bless others.

We’ll even rejoice when God honors others above us, for there’s no envy in heaven. There’s no sin in heaven, only love. ?In heaven we’ll rejoice to see others rewarded, even when they get more rewards than we do, because we’ll be filled with love for Jesus and others.

When we rejoice with those who are blessed it shows we consider God to be gracious and generous. ?

In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard the master paid those he hired last the same as soon as those he hired first. When those he hired first grumbled he said, “I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. ?Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew?20:14-15). ?If those who had been hired first had thought about it, they could have expected the master to be generous to them in the future.

A friend shared a story about two couples in his church who were best friends. One couple had prayed for years to have children but had never been able to. When their friends decided to try to have children they conceived immediately and nine months later had a beautiful baby. My friend said he was blown away when he saw the wife who had not been able to have children rejoice with all her heart with her best friend when she first saw her baby.

Let’s ask Jesus for grace to rejoice when he blesses others. Let’s do now what we’ll do forever in heaven.

Why It?s So Important To Rejoice Always

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ?1 Thess 5.16-18

The Bible calls us to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances, in afflictions as well as times of blessing. To rejoice in all things doesn’t mean that we rejoice that someone dies or gets cancer. ?To rejoice in all things means that we believe God is doing glorious things in and through all our circumstances, and even turns evil to good for those who love Christ.

To rejoice and give thanks in everything isn’t simply a good idea – it is critical and important.? Why?? Because:

– God commands us to rejoice.? God doesn’t command us to do anything without a reason.? All his commands are intended to bring blessing into our lives.
– Rejoicing is important for it is a way to lift our eyes to heaven and set our minds on things above (Co 3.2).
– Rejoicing in all things helps us avoid thinking hard thoughts of God.
– Rejoicing in affliction reminds us that God causes all things to work together for our greatest good – to make us like Christ.
– Rejoicing in all things speaks powerfully to both believers and unbelievers.? Remember Paul and Silas singing hymns while in stocks in prison and the other prisoners were listening (AC 16.24-25).
– Rejoicing helps prevent us from grumbling and complaining.
– Rejoicing in affliction strengthens our faith in God’s character and promises.
– Rejoicing opens the door for us to experience deep, genuine joy in Christ.
– Rejoicing in all things helps us ward off self-pity.
– Rejoicing in all things says that Christ is our source of joy and delight, not our circumstances
– Rejoicing in all things says that we believe God is wise, good, and loving in his plans for our lives.
– Rejoicing in all things glorifies God– it is easy to praise God when all is going well; but it especially honors him when we praise him in the midst of trials.

Rejoice in Jesus today.? Give him thanks no matter what you encounter.? Not one thing will happen to you that he hasn’t ordained for your good.

photo by { pranav }

What To Do When You?re Robbed

Puritan writer Matthew Henry was once robbed by thieves and recorded in his journal:

“Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, and not someone else.”

How could Matthew Henry rejoice after being hijacked? Because he didn?t derive his joy from his circumstances, but he took joy in the God of his salvation.

Paul and Silas freed a slave girl from a spirit of divination that had kept her in bondage for a long time. Deprived of their cash cow, her owners dragged Paul and Silas before the local magistrates and riled up a mob who proceeded to give Paul and Silas a fine Philippian pounding. Then they tossed them into prison, in the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them?(Acts 16:22-25)

Paul and Silas are chained up in a filthy Philippian prison and they?re singing!

I?ve never been stripped, beaten, thrown into prison and fastened in stocks. But if I were, I don’t know if my first inclination would be to sing ?I Just Want to Thank You.? That’s not usually the first thought that comes to my mind when the kids put a dent in the car or the back porch ceiling starts leaking.

The reason Paul and Silas could worship in the blockhouse was because they didn?t derive their joy from their circumstances, but took joy in the God of their salvation.

For believers in Christ, the source of our joy is Jesus himself. He’s our fountain of life, our chosen portion, our beautiful inheritance. He’s our meat and drink. And he never changes, no matter how much our circumstances fluctuate. I once flew from Pittsburgh to Toronto. It was overcast and snowing in Pittsburgh, but when the plane rose above the clouds, the sun was blazing in all its glory. When we descended in Toronto it was grey and snowing again. I had a flash of revelation (that?s right folks, it had never dawned on me until that very moment) ? no matter what it?s like ?down here? in our circumstances, God is still shining like the sun above the clouds. He?s blazing with goodness and kindness and power and love for us. He hasn?t changed any more than the sun changes when it?s raining.

So where does your joy come from? Does it come from your spouse or your children? Does it come from having a nice home or good job? Do you derive your joy from your health or possessions? What if you should lose them all? Would you be able to rejoice?

If you have not yet called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sins, and give you eternal life, I urge you to do so right now. If you do know Jesus, be glad and sing praises, no matter what?s happening ?down here? in your life. Rejoice in the God of your salvation.

What To Do When Your Fig Tree Fails

A friend of mine was saved in his twenties. One day as he was driving through the city where he lived, he happened to see a pretty girl walking down the street (she would later become his wife). He was momentarily distracted and slammed into a parked car. I hate that when that happens! He got out of his car to assess the damage. Inspecting the dents, instead of cursing or complaining he began to say, “So what — I’m saved! Praise God, I’m saved! I just smashed my car up, but so what — I’m saved!”

How about you? Do you have the joy of your salvation? If we could only keep our minds on the God of our salvation and the stupendous reality of all he?s done for us we would be celebrating like my friend all day long.

Think about it — Jesus saved us for an eternity of delighting in his glory and majesty. He saved us to know and enjoy him forever in heaven. He spared us from an eternity of misery in hell. He rescued us from the guilt, punishment, and bondage of sin. He delivered us from fear of judgment and condemnation and seated us with himself in heavenly places. He made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood and a holy nation to proclaim his excellencies. And because he saved us, he will keep us to the end and transform us into his own image.

So ultimately, whatever happens to us in this life doesn’t really matter that much because – we’re saved.

Habakkuk expressed this beautifully:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

In Habakkuk’s day, if you were a farmer, your whole life depended on your crops and herds. He describes a worst-case scenario: all his crops fail, all his flocks and herds die. Yet he says, even if all this befalls him, “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” In other words, so what — I’m saved!

How this honors God! How it blesses him when we say “Lord, even if you don’t bless me in any other way, you alone are enough for me. You have saved me to bring me to yourself. Your glory is all I need. I rejoice in you.”

So when the mechanic tells you that you need a new transmission, say, ?So what — I’m saved.? Depending on how well you know him, you might want to consider saying it to yourself quietly. When the children break your favorite Ming Dynasty vase say, “I will rejoice in the Lord.” When you come downstairs in the morning to discover that Sparky the Wonder Dog left a little surprise in the middle of the living room carpet, you know what to say. And should you be facing something really serious, I would still encourage you to say along with Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”