Art Journal Note:
For this page I wanted to use an image I found from a magazine, a photo of a lady looking upwards. But I decided that rather than just glue the image in, just for a change I’d have a go at drawing it instead. To make it easier for me, I traced the outline of the image first, transferred the image onto the art journal page and then added the details and coloured and shaded with colouring pencils, and finally added the text.
Tip: tracing paper is simply fabulous and can help you to get started when transferring images, or arranging lettering etc. I use it the old fashioned way I learnt in primary school, by drawing over the back in a soft pencil and then transferring the image by going over the lines (right side up) once more. Some people put a sheet of newspaper underneath instead to transfer some of the ink, I’ve not tried that yet (maybe next time!).
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!
Philippians 4 v 4
This verse is both an encouragement and a command to us. In the Bible, ‘Rejoicing in the Lord’ is mentioned on numerous occasions. When God speaks, we should listen. But when He says something more than once, I think we really need to pay attention!
God knows it does us good, more than we can know, when we rejoice in Him.
And here in this particular verse, Paul says it again to make sure the message gets through.
We can choose to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’, or we can choose not to. It requires a concious decision. No matter how we feel or what we are walking through.
It can be much easier for us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ when things are going well. It’s often easier to be thankful and to celebrate God’s goodness then.
Or is it? Isn’t there sometimes a danger of complacency? When I look back at some of the ‘green pastures’ times in my life there are some occasions when I have drifted, begun to grow luke-warm in my passion for God, and my faith has stagnated somewhat. There have been times when I may have perhaps rejoiced in my circumstances rather than in my God. I am only now just beginning to realise the depth of joy that can be found in thanking and praising God in all things, and in continuing to seek Him fully in all seasons.
Of course ‘Rejoicing in the Lord always’ can be a very real challenge for us when things are tough. When we walk through difficulties our natural response often finds it much easier to sink under the weight of our circumstances, but instead God calls us to choose to place our hope in Him. To trust Him. It’s when we do this that our faith grows, and we can find peace and joy.
Joy is essential to our lives, physically, mentally and spiritually. God knows this, as He designed us in His image.
“In your presence is fullness of joy.”
Psalm 16 v 11
Let’s remember that our joy can be fully found in His presence.
So maybe our state of joy is less about our situations and more about just being in His presence. Because no matter what we are going through He is there with us. Isn’t that something for us to rejoice about – that we are not alone?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our situations and circumstances may change but He stays the same and can be completely trusted in every season of life. His love endures forever.
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1 v 6
Therefore we can rejoice in the Lord – I’ll say it again – rejoice! No matter what. Always.
Heavenly Father, thank you that in You, I can rejoice! And I will say it again – I rejoice in You! No matter what I have gone through, no matter what I am walking through right now, and no matter what my future holds, I put my trust in You. For You are totally trustworthy and I know that as I dwell in the shelter of the shadow of your wing, I can find fullness of joy in Your presence.
In Jesus name, Amen.