Well, this Love is… segment doesn’t fit the Love is ___________ routine. Instead, the Bible uses a different verb.
Being the word nerd that I am, I have to give a definition or two along the way. (via dictionary.com)
And then I went to the Greek (taken from BibleHub.com), because you know I just HAVE to. :D
Rejoice with: properly, sharing God’s grace with another person, so that both rejoice together (mutually participate in God’s favor, grace).
Truth: properly, truth (true to fact), reality. [In ancient Greek culture, 225 (alḗtheia) was synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.]
Lately, so many lies have been bandied about as truth. For years, we’ve had the tabloids, which we all know twist the truth to make it what they want. Now, we have fake news stations. Worse yet, we have legitimate news outlets failing to check sources/facts and publishing lies. And while they will publish a retraction which hints at the truth, it’s never as sensationalized as the original story.
Because truth is not important enough. It is no longer valued. We don’t read/watch the news to get information, but to be entertained. We want the most sensational, exciting stories available. And sadly, many times that comes at the expense of the truth.
And then there’s the groups that say that truth is subjective.
Truth is truth. By definition it is an indisputable fact.
And yet, many claim that what they believe is the truth.
My belief in God doesn’t make it truth. I might believe the chair I sit in daily will hold me. And yet, one day it may not. So it is NOT the truth.
Many believe that sitting in church on Sunday makes them a Christian, and that they’re going to heaven. But as a former pastor used to say… Sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than sitting in your garage makes you a car.
Truth is truth, whether you or I believe it or not.
Okay, so… LOVE…
How do we do rejoice with the truth? What does it look like?
To be honest, I’ve no idea.
I don’t know? How could that be? My kids tell me I should know everything.
What do I think it looks like?
- Congratulating a friend who has fulfilled her dream of book contracts.
- Hugging someone who is going through a tough time.
- Praying for a person who has found herself in a difficult situation.
- Jumping up and down with someone who has made a step of faith into something new.
We need to rejoice — even when the truth isn’t always what we perceive as good.
- Did you get a rejection letter?
- Rejoice that it gives you an opportunity to hone your craft.
- Did you get a bad report from the doctor?
- Rejoice that God will get the glory when you’re healed.
- Did you fail to do something right?
- Rejoice that God forgives and gives us many chances to get it right.
- Did you lose your job?
- Rejoice that God has a better one for you.
I do realize it is easier said than done.
It’s hard to rejoice sometimes. Life pounds at us, shoving us to the ground and then kicking us while we’re down. But that’s why we need each other. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecc. 4:9-10)
My pastor said this on Sunday, “For every promised land, there are giants.” He was referring to Israel, David, and Goliath. He also quoted Carlos A. Rodriguez, “If there’s a Goliath in front of you, that means there’s a David inside of you.”
What is your promised land? What giants have you had to face? Have you rejoiced in the experience or complained about the process?
Oh, ouch. That hurts.
I try not to complain. Out loud. But in my head, in my heart…
But we can fix it. We can rejoice in truth. Circumstances will change. The truth is steadfast. It doesn’t change.
How do I know?
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.‘”
Jesus is the truth.
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (ESV)
And LOVE rejoices in the truth.
So… let’s step back, because this just occurred to me (God is so awesome).
God is LOVE.
Jesus is TRUTH.
God rejoices with/in Jesus.
Think on these things and ponder them in your heart. I know I will.
PS. Happy Thanksgiving