August 10, 2017
In what does your mind rejoice?
The mind is the central arena where moral transactions take place, moral considerations are reviewed, and decisions trivial and momentous are made.
According to this Scripture rejoicing takes place in the mind.
His mind rejoiced in the Lord’s ways, and he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah.
2 Chronicles 17:6
Context: the “he” is a king who had made up his mind to live in a righteous way and to lead his country in the same direction. He directed the removal of the symbols of falsely directed worship. His life and work then were established by Almighty God.
This is a good clue to fruitful living for you and me. We can all make our choices, but we cannot choose the outcome of those choices. Choose righteousness and live. Choose to be your own god and misfortunes will multiply. Rejoicing constantly in stuff, whatever it is, even in good things, will soon lead to emptiness. Rejoicing in the temporal, apart from gratitude to God, is incredibly debilitating. For illustration of this, look at the high suicide and depression rate of stars, who presumably “have it all”.
This man’s “rejoicing in the Lord’s ways” was not a result of the good things that came to him. His rejoicing was his state of mind, his way of living, the outgrowth of his worldview. The blessings in his life resulted from his mental rejoicing.
We think of rejoicing as an emotion, equating it with happiness. It seems to us to be more related to heart and feelings. Such perspective results in believing such self-focused and directionless feel-goods such as the graphic below. “Trust yourself” leads to confusion and misdirection.
Trust what about yourself? Ever-fluctuating emotions? My mind, which will never have full understanding or knowledge? My heart, which really cannot be known?
To rejoice in the mind is a deliberate action – a choice. Many people choose to do other things with the mind than rejoice. Many believe their intellect is too far advanced to rejoice in a deity. They believe they have evolved beyond that, and especially in regards to The Deity.
Rejoicing is connected to thinking and knowledge. You can point your mind in many directions. To make a determination to rejoice in the ways of God is a healthy choice.
This involves trust. God’s ways are sometimes difficult to take, because we do not have full understanding, as much as we prefer to think of ourselves as so smart.
Rejoicing in His ways is an active position of trust in His character. There is no more secure life position to have.