Deuteronomy 12:12: “And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.”

August 25th, 2016 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Throughout Deuteronomy 12 the people of God were told to rejoice, both in all that they did and their worship of God Almighty. It is clear that God wants His people to have joy in their lives. It should be a normal response when the worshipper comes to understand all the love God has for His children and His desire for their good. This truth seems to have escaped much of the church for many centuries, especially from the 1500s through the 1800s. One has only to look at the facial expressions of church leaders in old paintings to see that this truth of joy was lost on them. The attitude during that time must have been that it was a sin to smile!

But God tells us to rejoice and be happy as we worship the One who has given us life both here and into eternity. Of course there are difficult times, storms and trials blow through every life. There are times when difficulties crowd in on every side. That is when we must press in and choose a correct attitude. We can always choose to be thankful, to forgive, to release, and to rejoice before God. This reality, that we can choose our attitude, is one that continues to grow in importance the older we get. There is a natural accumulation of bumps and bruises along the road of life that, if not handled correctly, will turn into resentments and even bitterness. We believe that’s why God places so much emphasis on joy in worship.

When we lift our eyes off of our own current, thorny circumstances, set them on the One who dwells in eternity, and choose to be thankful for what He’s given us (easy and difficult), then everything else is brought into correct perspective. We all have a choice, each day, regarding the attitude we will hold on to. We cannot change what happened yesterday. We cannot control most of the factors coming at us tomorrow, but there is this one thing, this one, critical thing we can control today, and that is our attitude. God says to us today, “Rejoice before the LORD your God.”

“We chose to rejoice before You this day, LORD. Thank You for giving us breath and strength to rejoice in what we do have—a personal relationship with the living God.”