Today, our second week of the fast begins. Our first week’s focus was remembering who God is. Our focus this week is to hear from God. There are truths we need to remember, questions we must ask, and directions we need to receive. So let's ask Him.
SCRIPTURE - Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
This Psalm calls the entire world to recognize that God is worthy of not just our worship, but our glad and joyful worship. We serve a God who made us, cares for us, and is deserving of praise and recognition. He is good. He loves us. He's always been faithful, and He always will be.
God is good! No matter the situations we face, that fact doesn't change. And God's character gives us reason to have joy and gratitude that's not swayed by our circumstances. Even if we're hungry, we can choose joy. Even if we face financial instability, we can choose joy. Even if we face loss or deep hurt, we can choose joy.
Note that choosing joy isn't about sweeping our other feelings under the rug or bottling up our emotions, concerns, or worries. It's about anchoring ourselves to a truer and more steadfast reality than the one our minds often wander into. When we remember who God is and the blessings we do have, joy comes to us much easier than we may expect.
As we prepare our hearts to hear from God this week, let's begin by asking God what He's calling us to choose joy in today. Have you missed opportunities to praise Him for the gifts you do have because your eyes were on something else? Is God encouraging you that you truly can experience joy, even in the midst of one of your deepest valleys?
"God, show me today where I can choose joy. Show me where I can be grateful for what you've given to me. Show me that in any circumstance, my ability to praise and honor you is something that cannot be taken away from me. Help me rejoice in you, who you are, and the gift of eternal life you've given to me. In Jesus' name, amen."