I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 ESV
The Covid pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from mental health issues. Indeed, we will never know the extent of the damage this pandemic has caused to our psyche. What we do know is that “In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%, according to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO).” “During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. Moreover, a larger than average share of young adults (ages 18-24) report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder (56%). The pandemic has disproportionately affected the health of communities of color. Non-Hispanic Black adults (48%) and Hispanic or Latino adults (46%) are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder than Non-Hispanic White adults (41%).”
Many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep and dread waking up in the morning because of their mental stress. Others are burdened with chronic diseases like cancer and are forced to endure dreadful treatments that wear out their physical bodies and distress their minds and spirits. Indeed, the world has become more pessimistic and gloomier since the pandemic.
One of the ministries of Christian believers is to proclaim the joy of the Lord so people can have hope. Some people are in desperate need of encouragement and joy in their lives. They need a reason to rejoice and not give up on themselves and on God.
Philippians 4:4 exhorts us to rejoice always in the Lord. This does not mean we always have to be happy. But every day is a day of thanksgiving. Whether we know it or not, every day is a gift from God. Therefore, believers should greatly rejoice in the Lord; our souls should exult in our God, for he has clothed us with the garments of salvation. Praise the Lord!
When I have a challenging day, I just remind myself of the love of God for me through Christ Jesus. Then I remind myself “this is the day the Lord has made; I should rejoice and be glad in it.” I also try my best to be a source of encouragement for others to rejoice in the Lord.
The writer of Job tells us that “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). But that does not mean we cannot rejoice in the Lord. As difficult as it may be at times, we have to wake up every morning with an attitude of gratitude and proclaim, “this is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
To my brothers and sisters who are struggling with a terminal illness, “this is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it.” To the homeless and unemployed, the hopeless and the downtrodden, God has not forgotten about you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to rejoice despite your circumstance.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why is it important for believers to rejoice in the Lord every day?
What is the difference between joy and happiness?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for your joy that gives me the strength to endure the burdens of life. Please remind me of the garments of salvation you gave me so that I can be encouraged to finish my Christian race with joy.