How would you feel if you were separated from your family and friends; punished for doing what is right; living your life to the best of your ability; and, thrown in jail? I’m not sure how I would react, but I do know what Paul did, He said we should “rejoice.”
Paul maintained an attitude of joy and contentment in a life that was often characterized by difficult circumstances.
In the midst of a difficult period in his life, Nehemiah reminded his followers that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Instead of taking a short-sighted view of life, Nehemiah challenged the people to see God’s presence, perceive His power, and to focus on His plan for their lives.
When things in your life are not going as you planned, remember that God has a timetable for you. Sometimes you may not understand the bumps in the road or the slow pace of the uncertainties, but God is still working, and He is executing His plan for the greatest good of all.
While speaking about Moses, Chuck Swindoll once said: When you trust the Lord to give you the next step, when you wait in humility upon Him, He will open the doors or close them, and you’ll get to rest and relax until He says ‘Go.” This was a guiding principle of Paul, and it is why he rejoiced even while in prison.
And, this is the secret of joy.