The Fight for Radiance
Day 7: Choose to Rejoice in the Fight for Radiance
Our radiance is of paramount importance because it displays to the world our joy in God. Let’s face it. Rejoicing is easy when everything goes well. But what about in a difficult season? Fighting for radiance requires that we choose to rejoice anyway…
Paul understood joy in the midst of trouble. In Philippians He used the words rejoice or joy at least sixteen times. While a prisoner, he wrote chained to a guard with an indefinite sentence. I can imagine Paul didn’t feel like rejoicing. Two minutes thinking on his circumstances would have been enough to move him off center. Yet, he resolved to fulfill his part of God’s plan passionately– without regret. In suffering, he chose to rejoice and encouraged others to do the same. This is man who fought for joy.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice… (Philippians 1:19)
He was not alone. Peter also understood this melding of joy and suffering. He wrote believers to expect trials as part of God’s plan.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (1 Peter 1:3-8)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
From his letter we learn how to choose joy– feeling a calm delight in who God is and who you are because of Him; being confident that He can be trusted with your life—when everything around us suggests we shouldn’t:
Accept the trial as necessary. How do we know if we are experiencing a trial? Biblical scholar, C. New, asks, “Does it burn?—is it to the soul what fire is to the body—deep, searching, consuming pain?” If the Lord allows you to enter into this kind of pain, He finds it necessary for your good.
Prepare your mind for action. This “girding up the lions,” was to pick up the bottom of the robes and get moving. It requires self-control and discipline to delve below surface matters of faith to unearth truths missed otherwise. This comes by reading and studying the Word, allowing it to settle into your being and shape your behavior.
Hold onto Hope. There is a grace secured only in Christianity—a divine favor that includes an inheritance shared with the very Son of God. That is the staggering hope-filled present and future for every believer. It’s a hope that promises this: He will not let you go.
Choose joy– because your life is not just about you. People are watching. Your radiance matters in the middle of your pain.
Fight we must, because true radiance is revealed as we choose to rejoice…anyway.