Days of Heaven Upon Earth
"I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. iii. 18).
The secret of joy is not to wait until you feel happy, but to rise, by an act of faith, out of the depression which is dragging you down, and begin to praise God as an act of choice.
This is the meaning of such passages as these: "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice"; "I do rejoice; yes, and I will rejoice." "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." In all these cases there is an evident struggle with sadness and then the triumphs of faith and praise.
Now, this is what is meant--in part, at least--by the sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice is that which costs us something. And when a man or woman has some cherished grudge or wrong and is harboring it, nursing it, dwelling on it, rolling it as a sweet morsel under the tongue, and quite determined to enjoy a miserable time in selfish morbidness and grumbling, it costs us no little sacrifice to throw off the morbid spell, to refuse the suggestions of injury, neglect and the remembrance of unkindness, to rise out of the mood of self-commiseration in wholesome and holy determination, and say, "I will rejoice in the Lord"; I will "count it all joy."
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