“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because YOU defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You» (Psalm 5: I l).
We all know that the world is affected by sadness and that depression is the most wide-spread mental disorder. But even in this imperfect society, our loving and compassionate heavenly Father offers us enough motivation and reasons so we can maintain joy and gladness. How encouraging are the biblical promises to the trouble ones! Verses like the one from today and many other biblical passages have the ability to exert a therapeutic effect like these verses which say, The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18);
Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope» (Ps. 16:9); «You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (v.11); «For our hearts shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name” (Ps. 33:21); “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Ps. 126:5); “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1;4). The Bible also includes many appeals to joy: «rejoice,» «be glad,» «be joyful,» «filled with joy…
» The Lord calls us to be happy. This means that if we focus our attention on appropriate thoughts and actions, we can change our spirit. I (J) remember one time when we traveled on a family trip and attended a church where we had never been before. After the worship service, they invited us to a fellowship meal. Our pre-adolescent son was complaining that he did not know anyone and was getting bored. My wife looked him straight in the eye and told to him:
«Being bored is a personal choice; choose not to be bored.»
At first, he seemed puzzled, but the message must have held up because for the rest of the afternoon he was talking with different people without any sign of boredom. An elderly man of great influence in my youth always used to say, smiling: «A sad Christian is a phony Christian!»
Maybe you are affected by low spirits or depressive thoughts. Perhaps you might need medical or psychological help. But in any case, remember the numerous joyful messages that God sends you through the Scriptures and your own experiences. Choose thematic issues like kindness, optimism and hope as they will improve your mood. Repeat today’s verse several times by saying, «This is the day the Lord has made; ‘,we will rejoice and be glad in it» (Ps. 118:24). Make it personal: