“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
Have you ever found it difficult to rejoice with those who rejoice? Sometimes one of the most difficult things to do is celebrate when someone else received what you wanted. We hate to admit that, but it’s the truth—being joyful with someone when they get something you’ve prayed for is hard.
Some of the toughest molding God will do to your heart will be when He asks you to champion and celebrate someone who has the life you long for. But we waste so much time longing for another life when God is trying to do something special in our own. The root of our problem is that we are chasing happiness instead of being grounded in joy. Happiness and joy are not the same.
Happiness is circumstantial—it’s based on our feelings because it’s an emotion. Joy is different. Joy is an attribute of God. It is part of His character, a part that we must learn to grow in. It’s part of the fruit of the Spirit. So once we have the Spirit living in us, God is tilling the soil of our hearts. He’s preparing the ground to grow His fruit.
If you ever wonder why it hurts sometimes when God is really working on your heart, it’s because He’s actually working on your heart—tearing the ground up, plowing the weeds down. He’s pulling up roots of bitterness and jealousy, and He’s planting seeds of joy and patience.
To rejoice with those who rejoice, even when they receive the blessing you’ve prayed for, longed for, and hoped for, you must let God tear up your heart a little bit. It sounds harsh, but He always has your best interest in His own heart, and you’ll find that greater joy is possible when you surrender.
You can’t rejoice without joy. He must show you that there’s more to living than just being happy. There are far greater blessings than what happiness has for you.