Links Daily Devotional

Rejoicing Along the Way

And all the people gave a shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. (Ezra 3:11, NIV)

Golf, if it is truly a “game,” is meant to be enjoyed every step of the way.

OK, the statement has been made. Now let me be the first to raise my guilty hand and say that this is quite often not true for me. Maybe this is because I can’t remember the last time I played golf as a game. I grew up playing it competitively, I went to college and played it competitively, and even when I’m with people who are not keeping score I am in my own mind playing it competitively.

So the cure, I suppose, is this: I have to learn to play the game, not worry about it or grind at it or pout through it. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Fortunately, the rest of my life seems to go a lot less stressfully. But that’s not true for everyone. Like I obsess over golf, you may obsess over the mortgage, or the kids, or dinner plans. You may worry about retirement or the Russians.

What if instead of all that—me and my golf, you and your grave endeavors—we just stopped and smelled the roses?

I can hear you now: Oh, you’ve got to be kidding! This is one of those let go and let God messages?

No. This is one of those open the pages of your Bible and let yourself be taught by the people of God doing the things of God in the Word of God messages. (Smile)

Where we’re letting ourselves be taken today is to ancient Jerusalem, in the midst of a vas community project, where the temple is being rebuilt. The builders have set the foundation and the priests and Levites have dressed to the clerical nines, gathered up their loudest instruments, and set to singing. Then come the people, who “gave a great shout of praise to the LORD.” Why? Because the foundation has been laid.

No one rejoices over a foundation. We rejoice over walls and roofs and finish work. We rejoice when we lay hold of the keys, take possession of the note, and walk across the threshold. But here were the people of God, doing what we’d least expect.

When I find precepts in the Bible, it’s easy to know what to do. But when I come across events where people like me are behaving in a way that I would not, I can get to thinking, Well, maybe that’s just them. Maybe that’s not for me. That’s normally to my shame, and I won’t let it happen here. I want to be a person who rejoices along the way—even when it doesn’t look like there’s much worth rejoicing about. But if in my rejoicing I am giving glory to God, then that’s the reason right there!

Jeff Hopper
October 6, 2015
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