Psalm 46:1 promises us that the Lord is ever present in times of trouble, and Christians know this truth to be one of the greatest comforts in our walks with Him. However, it can also become one of our greatest sources of joy when we realize that God is present in our moments of celebration too.
Here at the Gardens at Barry Road, we know that our Father calls us into a personal relationship with Him: one where we can share every experience in our lives and know that He is delighting over us as we do so.
Just as it says in Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."
As we join our family and friends in times of celebration, let us remember these four scriptures and how they reveal the ways God provides the blessings and shares in our joy over them.
1. When Our Families Grow
Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Proverbs 17:6 KJV
Children are a gift from God, and our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews are too. When little ones join our family by birth or adoption, we know that He formed them and knows each one of them personally (Psalms 139: 13-16) and that He loves them so much that He has angels assigned especially to them (Matthew 18:10).
2. When Someone is Saved
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10 KJV
The well-known and beloved story of the prodigal son paints the picture of a father who forgives his son and ecstatically celebrates his return.
In the same way, when we hear of someone giving their lives to Christ, we can join all of heaven in celebrating that they will never be separated from God's love again, whether in this life or the next (Romans 8:38-39).
3. When We Meet Together
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Psalms 92:1-2 KJV
Psalms 92 is described as a song for the Sabbath, and its author encourages readers to rejoice and celebrate the Lord's goodness.
The members of the first church set an example for us to meet by breaking bread together on the Sabbath and throughout the week (Acts 2: 42-47 and Acts 20:7). These times were described as being filled with prayer and praise.
As we follow in their footsteps today, we can use our own times of worship and teaching to celebrate our bonds with Him and our assisted living community family.
4. When We Celebrate Holidays
And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord. 2 Chronicles 30:21 KJV
As God formed the new nation of Israel, He also established feasts for them to hold each year (Leviticus 23:2). While each celebration had their own significance, all of them were designed to remind the people of the Lord and call on them to deepen their relationship with Him.
As we celebrate our Christian holidays together with our friends and family here at the Gardens, we can use the rich traditions surrounding these holy days to remember the many blessings in our lives and let that propel us into a closer, more meaningful walk with Him.