Distractions and Focus 3 – RejoicingEGP Blog post from October 20, 2012
This is part three of the series on distractions: rejoicing. Be sure to check out yesterday’s post on weeping if you haven’t already.
1 Corinthians 7:29–31 (NASB)
 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;  and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;  and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
People used to say, “don’t worry, be happy”, and rejoicing is much better than just being happy. So, you would think that when making a list of distractions, that rejoicing wouldn’t be on the list. In fact, we are commanded to “rejoice with those who rejoice”. On top of that, in a parable about God, Jesus said that, “He rejoices over [the lost sheep He found] more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.”
Once again, it’s about focus and moderation. We can find joy in things of this world (marriage, children, etc.), but we are to rejoice primarily in the things of God, more specifically, in God Himself. We must also be careful not let the things we rejoice in get in the way of our communication with God (therefore becoming an idol), which is why I think Paul followed “rejoice always” immediately with “pray without ceasing.” Even if we rejoice in the ministry God has given us going well, we must be careful that it doesn’t become the source of or joy. In Luke 10:20, Jesus said, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in Heaven.”
John 16:22 (NASB)
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Romans 12:15; Matthew 18:13; Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18