We are often straddling between intertwined threads of joy and struggle. If there is any side we are leaning towards, it’s most likely the one that tries to bring us down. It’s hard to celebrate when our situation doesn’t provide us with any apparent reason to.
Remember Moses? Once the Israelites had left Egypt and passed through the mighty waters, they watched as their enemy disappeared under the crashing waves. And what did they do? They praised God. They celebrated the fact that God had saved them and redeemed their lives from slavery. Even as they rejoiced, though, they were about to begin a new journey into the unknowns of the wilderness.
In the middle of it all – straddling both the joy of victory and the heaviness of uncertainty, they paused to rejoice and to celebrate God’s goodness.
Honestly, celebrating when the circumstances tower above me is not the first thing on my mind, my heart or on my tongue. And yet, the word celebrate doesn’t necessarily mean to throw a party and pretend that life isn’t hard.
It means to honor.
It means to observe.
It means to praise.
It means to proclaim.
Even though the Israelites were safe from one hard thing, they were about to enter another.
In Exodus 15:2-3, Moses declared,
The Lord is my strength and my song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
“The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name.”
In these few lines of a much longer song, Moses sums up many reasons for us to celebrate. Even when our situation leads us to believe there is nothing to celebrate or when the uncertainties are daunting. We don’t leave Egypt, move between towering waves or walk out into the wilderness on our own. We have a God who is with us. And we have a God who is worth celebrating especially in times when we feel we can’t take another step.
1. He is our strength
We can find strength in a God who promises to help us in our times of trouble and uncertainty. He says to “come to Him” when we are weary and to release the heavy things (Matthew 11:28-30). His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can celebrate that he upholds us in our time of need.
2. He is our song
When you have no words to speak, find a song to sing. When you are surrounded by a battle raging, raise a battle cry. Ask the Lord to put a new song in your mouth and in your heart (Psalm 40:3). Repeat His name and allow the truth of who He is to sink deep into your heart.
3. He is our salvation
What a reason to celebrate! He is our rescuer and redeemer. God has overcome the world, and that means whatever situation we are in (John 16:33). We can rejoice in the truth that God is not a God who abandons us but comes to save us. We can trust Him to be our rock and our safe place (Psalm 62:1-2).
4. He is our God
We don’t serve a God who is distant. We serve a God who knows the hairs on our head and created us in our innermost beings (Psalm 139). He has called us by name and will walk with us through the waters and the fire won’t harm us (Isaiah 43:1-2).
5. He is faithful
He’s carried you this far and He will do it again. Just as He met those who came before us, He is a faithful friend who will do what He says He will do (Psalm 119:89-90). Even in the struggle, He is at work in you (Philippians 1:6) and in your situation and working even this out for the good (Romans 8:28).
6. He is our warrior
No matter what we face or what surrounds us, He will be with us. He will fight for us (Exodus 14:14). He is our protector and He battles on our behalf. No one can be against us, if God is for us (Romans 8:31). We can celebrate that He is has not left us to battle on our own.
7. He is who He says He is
He is Yahweh. We can celebrate a God who is sovereign. He is the beginning and the end. He is our Savior, our Protector, our Redeemer, our Father, our Provider and our Prince of Peace. And He is so much more. There are so many names that describe our God. We can rejoice in a God who crumbles mountains, shuts the mouths of lions and calls the wind and waves to be still.
Celebrate how amazing God is, especially as you navigate the hard and in the struggle.
We can celebrate Him and what He is doing even when we don’t see it yet.
Celebrate what He has done in the past.
Celebrate what He is doing in the present.
Celebrate Him in whatever is to come.
There are so many more reasons to celebrate especially in tough times. What is one that resonates with you? How can celebrating God change the way you walk through the wilderness or face the battles before you?
Join us for the 2022 Velvet Ashes Online Retreat as we explore the desire for home. Together we’ll journey through the powerful pathway that Solomon’s temple provides for us today. We’ll invite the Holy Spirit to draw our heart’s into deeper connection with God. Retreat with the worldwide community April 22-24!