A Christian Meditation on Rejoice Every Morning for Today in Psalm 118:24
Dave Cover: This is Christian Meditation for A Bigger Life. I'm Dave Cover. I want to help you with Christian Meditation and experience God's presence through biblically guided imagination, where you can draw near to God and get the stress and anxiety out of your mind, out of your heart, and out of your body. So, you can live a bigger life. An important part of Christian Meditation is to use your biblically guided imagination to see better unseen realities, and to bring your mind and body into an integration with those spiritual realities. Far too often we do the opposite, we become a mind, body that's fragmented and disconnected from spiritual realities, and that's hijacked by tension and anxiety and anger and frustration and fear and insecurities. So, if your podcast app is set to skip silent sections, disable that for this podcast. To begin lie flat on your back or sit comfortably in a chair. It's better to lie down if you can, but sometimes it's just not practical. So, uncross your legs either way. And if you can, close your eyes. And begin to take in deep breaths through your nose and try to direct the breath into your belly, calmly making your belly rise with each intake of breath. And then as you exhale, try to focus on relaxing the muscles of your body. Releasing clenched muscles, releasing tension. Breath in calmly and feel the breathing calming your body. Quieting your mind with each exhale, softening your body, softening your muscles, your nerves, calming your central nervous system. You want to intentionally focus your mind's awareness on your body and for now that means focusing your mind's awareness on your breathing. Breathing in through your nose, making your belly rise with each breath and calmly exhaling. And try to focus your mind on your body letting go of all effort as you exhale, dropping toward the ground, falling toward the earth, letting gravity take hold of your body. Your body feels heavier. You feel the weight of your whole body more and more as you breathe out. Taking in deep breaths and try to let your exhale be a little bit longer than your intake and focus on relaxing your body with each exhale almost as if you're breathing relaxation into your body with each exhale. Let your breathing be a rhythm of quiet, calm relaxation. You don't have to hold yourself up right now. There's nothing for you to do. There's no place for you to go. There's no problem for you to solve right now. Right now you're meditating. You can do all that later. This is a time for you to let go of any effort and bring a quiet calm to your entire body, a calming of your mind, and bring a sense of awareness of your whole body. Focusing your mind on feeling your body. And the best way to do that right now is to feel your body feeling relaxed. Quietly say to yourself," relax." When you say to yourself," relax", you tell your body to feel that sensation of relaxation in your body. Focus your mind on that sensation. It's a quiet sensation. You don't have to do anything, you just have to focus on feeling it. Your body relaxing, letting go. Again, on your next exhale quietly say to yourself," relax" and feel that sensation in your whole body, your muscles softening. You're letting go of clenched muscles, of muscle tension. And you're in this rhythm of breathing and focusing your mind on your breathing and feeling your body relaxing, focus on feeling that sensation of letting go of tension and effort and feel it in your entire body. Let me read a verse from Psalm 1:18- 24." This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. It's amazing how much our emotions flow from how we see the context of our day, of our lives. Our mind's imagination of what today will bring affects not only our thoughts and mood, but also everything in our body. Imagine seeing today with the expectation that the one who loves you infinitely and eternally is making this day. He's in charge of it. He's 100% present in it, present with you, and he has an eternal purpose for it, for you. And he's telling you that if you knew what he knows, you would rejoice and be glad in it." Let's begin to meditate on that. Seeing your life inside this verse, seeing your body inside this verse, seeing everything in your life inside this verse. Today is a day your heavenly father has made, already made it, and you can rest in his will. You can know that today is for your eternal joy and eternal glory. So, you can rejoice and be glad right now by using your imagination to see yourself inside this verse. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. So, let's go the next step in meditation and use your imagination to feel this verse into your body and let it replace the tension and anxiety and insecurity and anger and frustration with the calm and peace and security and confidence and joy and gladness of seeing your life inside this verse because anxiety and insecurity and anger and frustration and tension comes when we don't see our lives inside this verse, this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. So, to begin doing that, let's focus right now on your head. Just feeling the tension anywhere in your head, top of your head, your scalp, and just become aware of any tension in the top of your scalp. Sometimes we hold tension there and don't even know it. Focus on releasing, letting go of tension in the top of your head. Now down to your forehead, same thing, releasing any tension there in your forehead, letting go, replacing tension with a sense of joy that today is a day God has made for you. You can rejoice and be glad in it. You don't know what today holds, but God does and he promises he's in charge and he promises that if you knew what he knows, you would be glad in it. You would rejoice. You would have joy. Now focusing on your eyes. The muscles around your eyes, they often tighten with anxiety and tension. Focus on letting that tension go. Focus on releasing those muscles behind your eyes, around your eyes. Let your eyes just lay, rest deepen their sockets. Calm, joy, peace gladness. Now focus on your cheeks, the feeling of your face. We often try to present a face to the world, but right now you're going to let go of that face. Just let your face drop, release, release all tension, all holding yourself up in your face and let it go and feel the relaxation in your entire face. And now your jaw, even your tongue, just focusing on your tongue, being one big muscle that goes all the way back deep into your throat. Let it go, release it, and feel that release all the way back into your throat. And when you focus on that, it brings you relaxation in your entire face to a whole new level. Now focusing on your neck, around your neck, and up the back of your head, and letting go of any tension in the back of your head. Focus on just releasing those muscles, releasing that tension. Letting go the sides of your head, and now think of your entire head released of tension. Maybe you have to release your scalp again. Maybe your eyes again, your cheeks, but focus on your entire head. Just lying there. It's heavier than you think and now it's just resting there completely let go, releasing all your tension in your eyes, your cheeks, your jaw, your tongue, your forehead, your scalp, the back of your head, your neck and your head feels heavy, weighty, letting go, calm. And now using your imagination, picture your brain as an image in an MRI image of your brain. You've seen those images of brains and MRI imaging. Imagine your brain with areas lit up in red, where your brain is holding anxiety, anger, tension, stress, insecurity, fear. Those areas where that is in your brain are lit up in red on the MRI image. Imagine this. Maybe an area of chronic pain is lit up in red in your brain as well. Now imagine the image of your brain using your imagination, imagine the image of your brain clearing of all the red. The image of your brain is cleared of all red and calm, like untouched water on a lake. It's cleared of all the red. You're imagining this. You might think this is a step too far into weirdness, but there's actually been a study that shows people's ability to do exactly this in real life. As they imagine their brain clearing like an MRI image, the actual MRI imaging showed exactly that happening. Red areas disappearing, areas of pain, worry, tension disappearing. As they imagine their brain clearing, the MRI image actually cleared, which shows many things, not least of which how our mind can control so much about our brain and our body. So, when the Bible tells you to renew your mind, its telling you the real you is able to speak to your mind, speak to your brain, how and what to think rather than being victims of how your imagination, your brain is already thinking and feeling. You can speak to yourself and you can control what your brain is thinking, what your mind is focusing on, and what your body is feeling more than you think. This is an important part of meditation. So, when the Bible says," this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." It's actually telling you to tell you to rejoice and be glad knowing that God has made this day. God is Lord of this day. God is present in this day. So, rejoice. Let us rejoice is a kind of command. It's an invitation, it's a summons to come into joy and gladness. Walk out of anger, walk out of frustration, walk out of anxiety, and come into joy and gladness. Imagine this in your brain, anxiety being replaced by joy, anger, frustration, tension, worry, fear, insecurity being replaced by calm, peace, joy, gladness, trust. Now take in a deep breath into your belly and hold it for just a moment until it becomes uncomfortable. And then as you let go of your breath and exhale, feel your belly, release the muscles in your gut release, and focus on the muscles in your abdomen, your gut, your belly. Feeling let go, released, softened. It's another place we hold our tension and clench our muscles without being aware of it. So, become aware of it now. With each exhale, let go a little bit more of the tension in your gut, your diaphragm, your chest, your belly, let the muscles soften a little bit more. See if you can use your imagination to release even more tension in your muscles in and around your abdomen, your belly, your gut, your chest. You're letting go of tension, clenched muscles. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it in today. Now imagine the organs inside your abdomen, this is imagination. Imagine the organs inside your abdomen being released of toxic stress and anxiety and tension and anger, anger fantasies. Imagine that toxic poison being released out of your gut and being replaced by trust, joy, gladness, calm. Imagine the oxygen in your blood, rejuvenating your organs with health and life. Now feel that in your back, letting go of tension in your back. And now up to your shoulders, letting your shoulders fall toward the ground. Any tension you're holding in your shoulders, let it go, release, soften with each exhale. Now down your arms, into your hands. Now back to your pelvic area and down into your thighs, your calves, let your legs released like limp noodles, your ankles, your feet. Now return your attention to your entire body, your head and your feet at the same time, your hands and your feet at the same time, your legs and your arms at the same time, your whole body letting go. This is the day the Lord has made. You can rejoice and be glad in it. Contextually speaking, this verse is prophetic of the day of Jesus' death and resurrection for salvation as well as the day of his return. That's what this whole Psalm is about, Psalm1: 18. The entire Psalm is layered with prophetic imagination, but this verse is also a true principle all on its own. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. That sounds a little bit like what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4: 4," rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice." Or what he says in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16- 18," rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." We read a verse like that and we think it's not reality. How can somebody rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances? But the background context of that belief is the belief that God is in control of all circumstances, that this is the day the Lord has made, that God is going to cause all things to work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. And so, we can rejoice and be glad and give thanks even though we don't know what God is doing, we can trust that he knows what he's doing. It's the trust that if we knew what God knows, we would rejoice and give thanks and be glad, so we can just trust him and rejoice and give thanks and be glad. So, say aloud to yourself" because this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."" Because this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Feel this into your entire body, using your imagination." This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." Feel this into your body. This confident calm, this peace of trust, trusting that God is in charge. You don't have to see everything. You don't have to see how everything connects. You don't have to have all the answers. You don't have to know the why. All you need to know is the who. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Feel that in your body right now, your head to toe your legs, your arms, your torso, your gut, your shoulders, your entire body released of tension, released of fear, insecurity, released of anger and anger fantasies, released of all the ways that you try to protect yourself because you feel like you're the one that has to create the day. But this is the day the Lord has made and you can rejoice and be glad in it. Heavenly Father, I trust that today is the day. I don't know what's going to happen today, but you do. And it might be a hard day for me, but I can trust that this is the day you have made. You're the one who is the giver of all life and you are the source of all that exists, and you inhabit eternity. So, you see eternity in everyday. I don't, but you do. And you are 100% in charge, in control, and present with me in your infinite and eternal love for me. And so, I rest in you. This is the day you have made and I will rejoice and be glad in it because I am rejoicing and being glad in you, trusting in you, resting in you, surrendering to you. In Jesus' name, amen. Thanks for listening to Christian Meditation for a Bigger Life. If you found this podcast helpful, please give us a rating in your podcast app, so others can find it more easily and consider sharing this episode with a friend. Our audio engineer is Diego Huaman. Look for a new episode each Tuesday and Thursday morning.
An important part of Christian meditation is to use your biblically guided imagination to see the better, unseen realities our lives are in, and to bring our mind and body into an integration with those spiritual realities. Otherwise we become a mind/body that’s fragmented and disconnected from spiritual realities, that's hijacked by tension and anxiety, anger, frustration, and fear.
If your podcast app is set to skip the silent sections, disable that for this podcast.
Psalm 118:24 ESV
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Contextually speaking this verse is prophetic of the day of Jesus’s death and resurrection for salvation, as well as the day of his return. Like the entire Psalm, this verse is layered with prophetic imagination.
But it’s also a true principle all on its own…
Psalm 118:24 ESV
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Like Paul writes in…
Philippians 4:4 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always (shortest verse in the original Greek Bible), 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Say aloud to yourself…
“Because this is the day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Who can you share this podcast with? If you found this episode helpful, consider sharing it on social media or texting it to a friend you think might benefit from it.
Our audio engineer is Diego Huaman.