Devotion for April 9, 2023

The Bible tells you to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, ESV). Have you noticed that the second part of that sentence is easy, but the first part can be really tough?

When somebody’s having a hard time, it’s easy to be sympathetic. It’s easy to encourage people when they’re down. But what about when someone in your circle gets a promotion? That can be hard to handle! Rather than rejoicing in someone else’s success, you may resent it. You may even wish bad things would happen to people, because somehow you think that if you can blow out their candle, yours will shine brighter.

But here’s the truth: There’s plenty of God’s grace to go around.

Sometimes you may feel ignored or put down when God blesses someone else. You work hard and do all the things God asks you to do. But then you see him generously bless someone else. And perhaps you think that person doesn’t deserve to be blessed because they don’t appear to have worked as hard as you or to have served God as faithfully as you.

The thing is, if God wants to bless others the same amount as you, does it really matter? You shouldn’t even worry about what he wants to give other people. You should only be concerned about what you’re doing with what you’ve been given.

Let me explain something about envy to you. Envy happens close to you. It’s the people closest to you who tend to provoke the greatest envy. It’s hardest to see your family and friends experiencing success.

Envy is insidious. It devalues others, it destroys relationships, and it makes you miserable. It’s hidden, but it’s destructive. And it causes you to miss out on so much joy.

You’ll enjoy life a whole lot more if you learn to be happy over the successes of other people. If you’re only happy when things go well for you, you’re going to be miserable most of your life. But if you learn to applaud other people’s successes and celebrations, you can be happy all the time.

Love is not envious. Instead, love celebrates God’s goodness to others.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for the blessings You have given me. I thank You, also, for the blessings You have given to the family, friends, and others around me. Help me to celebrate all of the blessings You give each of us, because these are gifts from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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