My heart was breaking, but there was a birthday party to attend. So much heaviness weighed down on my soul, but there was life to celebrate. My tears poured, but that day I needed to reapply the mascara and go sing.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice,” the Bible commands in Romans 12:15.
The familiar verse usually seemed so straightforward and easy to obey. But not that day.
So, I prayed.
I showed up.
I even laughed. A real, true, heartfelt laugh.
My pain was not gone, but it unexpectedly paused from consuming me as I intentionally entered into the joy that others were experiencing. Thankfully, by God’s grace, in our weakness, He is powerful enough to grace our face with a smile for our rejoicing friend (II Corinthians 12:9). God is able to do the impossible (Luke 1:37, Matthew 19:26).
Need help rejoicing with those who rejoice? Call out to Jesus for help. On His way to the cross to bear the sins of the world, He first rejoiced at a wedding, even turning some water into the best wine for the celebration. I find that amazing! Jesus knew His mission and yet perfectly rejoiced with those that rejoiced. Surely He can enable us to focus on the joy of others even when our own heart feels heavy.
Recently, I was on the flip-side of this scenario. While I was rejoicing over good news, I had some friends in quite different circumstances excitedly and genuinely join me in my happiness. Their selfless reaction was such a blessing to me and increased my own joy. The hard work of rejoicing with those that are rejoicing is yet one more concrete way we can love others, bring glory to God, and make a positive impact in the world.