Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Smile Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Ray 2019We celebrated my friend’s life yesterday. Norma was a pastor’s dream. She was musical – she was administrative – she was friendly – she was hospitable – she was sensitive – she had a deep faith – she had a great work ethic – and she did it all with a smile.

Norma didn’t just smile when things were going well. Norma smiled all the time. I can’t remember too many times when I didn’t see a smile on her face. Battling cancer – there was a smile. Having personal issues – there was a smile. Facing surgery or treatment – there was a smile. Getting chemo – there was a smile. Breaking her wrist and coming back to work way too early – there was a smile.

What are we facing this Christmas? We have families where both parents are out of work. We have several friends fighting addictions. We have several friends facing their first Christmas without a life partner – a child – a parent or a close friend. We have some who are facing their first empty nest Christmas as well. Some have little or no family at this time of the year. Others have abusive family members.

What is keeping us from having a smile on our face at Christmas? I would suggest the answer should be NOTHING! We should keep a smile on our face – no matter what we face.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Psalm 9:1-20 – 1 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. 4 For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. 9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. 12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. 13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. 18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. 19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20 Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal.

God will take care of us! God will never leave us nor forsake us! God has our backs! We can smile through anything – because we know the One who holds all of eternity in His hands! Thank you – Norma – for revealing this truth through your rough ride and always having a smile on your face. Smile – even when we don’t feel like it!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. – I will be taking a break from the daily devotional thoughts until the new year. Let me know if you appreciate the weekday devotional thoughts. Maybe once a week would be better? Let me hear from you.

December 23, 2019 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

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