Written on 11/20/2023
Anthony Sluzas

Long ago, the Apostle Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, ‘Rejoice!'” (Philippians 4:4). He was saying that we can choose to rejoice no matter what. Another way to say it is that YOU REJOICE BY CHOICE.
Every single week, multitudes of folks go to what’s called, “Happy Hour” (and I used to be among them over three decades ago). Happy Hour is when people go to the local watering hole (bar/saloon) to imbibe, self-medicate, and temporarily escape the stress, disappointments, and sorrows of life. However, for the people of God, the only legitimate and genuine Happy Hour is when we gather together to worship and praise our Heavenly Father and receive the proclamation of His Word with thanksgiving. Psalm 16:11 says that “In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
A couple roadblocks often impede our joy. The first is the attitude that somebody else has caused your problem. This is what is called playing the role of a victim (which has become our nation’s favorite pastime). Whatever has happened, and in its aftermath, you cannot blame anything or anyone but yourself. Because absolutely no one can take away your God-given liberty unless you surrender it to them.
The second roadblock is when people blame their situation or bad behavior on their parents. That might be decent freshman psychology but it’s terrible theology. God’s Word says that when you and I give our hearts to Jesus, we become a “new creation!” Those old things have passed away and “all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You now possess a new heart, life, and attitude! So, if you truly had a rough childhood with that parent(s), the Good News is that God loved you so much to give His only begotten Son for your redemption!
Never allow a difficult situation, crisis or trial to separate you from the joy of the Lord. Always remember that joy is a choice. As an act of faith, sing and/or shout for joy to the Lord, and the feelings will follow! Seize this moment with joy!