Celebrate the Wins

Lori Arnold - Worship Director | Real Life Ministries Texas | Tomball, TX

One of my favorite moments each week is my time around the table with the staff at our church. The first thing on our agenda is “Celebrations.” During that time, each of us can share personal celebrations as well as the those in our areas of ministry. When I’m feeling extra fun, I turn on “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang to remind everyone what time it is (and maybe have a little dance break).

I didn’t realize how much that 15 minutes meant to me until there was a week that we weren’t able to meet. Now, if you’ve been around me longer than 5 minutes, you likely know that fun is at the top of my priority list. That said, celebrating typically comes easily for me. However, for the past year and a half, celebrating hasn’t come as naturally as it used to. Along with my own personal struggles and heartaches in ministry, the chaos and distractions of the world swirl around us all. There is not a day that I can open my social media accounts or text messages and not receive bad news. I believe that now, more than ever in my lifetime, we must be intentional to stop and celebrate the wins.

If we fail to celebrate the wins in our own lives as well as those we are in relationship with or discipling, it won’t be long before we forget the love, goodness, and faithfulness of God.

I was sitting in my boss’ office a couple weeks ago telling him about all the weaknesses in my area of ministry. He then asked me, “What are the strengths? What is working well?” I was embarrassed at how long I had to sit and think to come up with just one good thing. I had been so focused on all the things I hadn’t done and minuscule goals I hadn’t reached that I almost couldn’t see all the good that God had done… and He’s done a lot of good, y’all! All it took was for me to think of just one thing, and then the others just started rolling in my mind and flowing out of my mouth.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. A shift of focus. Taking a moment to stop, remember, and celebrate the God we serve and what He has done. Just as Moses praised God through song after He parted the Red Sea and delivered the Israelites out of bondage (Exodus 15), we are to praise Him. We celebrate in response to the revelation of Who God is and what He has done. When we celebrate in this way, it is a form of worship.

It is one of the reasons our weekly worship gatherings are so important. God’s Word says that we are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! (Psalm 100:4). We gather to celebrate Him through worship. The fact that He pours back into us is the bonus!

I was recently reminded that celebration isn’t always expressed in the same way for everyone. While I often scream or squeal with excitement when others share great news, I sometimes cry when I am filled with happiness or thanksgiving. The same is true of my worship to the Lord.

Sometimes, I cry and weep when I think about God’s faithfulness to me. Our celebratory expressions aren’t always the same.

Regardless of our circumstances or situations, God’s faithfulness is everlasting and never changing. As we disciple others, we must celebrate the wins in their lives and share of our own moments when God has shown us His favor, grace, and provision. Taking time to celebrate with one another helps us remember His faithfulness when we go through trials.

Being changed by Christ is often uncomfortable and requires stretching and pruning. However, even on my worst and most painful days, there is something to celebrate God for. If I find myself stuck in a mess of negative thoughts like the day my boss helped point me back to the truth of God’s faithfulness, I choose to stop and remember God’s amazing grace and redemptive love for me. After all, that is something worth celebrating.

“Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:5-6

by Lori Arnold – Worship Director
Real Life Ministries Texas
Tomball, TX