Rejoice, and again I say
Have you learned to rejoice in everything?
The Bible says, “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). A
couple of verses later it says, “. . . in everything give thanks; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (v. 18). “Rejoice in the Lord always; again
I say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
Sometimes it is not easy to rejoice or to give praise to
the Lord, but that does not change the command.
“It is God’s will that we find joy in prayer in Christ
Jesus in every condition of life,” writes A. T. Robertson. There are no
circumstances in the Christian's life where he cannot give thanks. God works
everything together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
“Rejoice . . . pray . . . give thanks” is God’s will for
every believer in every situation.
Nehemiah knew “the joy of the Lord is your strength” when
he saw his workers weeping as they listened to the law read to them (Neh. 8:10).
The apostle Paul writing from prison in Rome said, “Rejoice
in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). “Rejoice” is in the
present, active imperative as in 3:1 when Paul said, “rejoice in the Lord.” Paul
repeats it in 4:4 for emphasis.
Paul did not tell his readers to “be happy,” but “rejoice
in the Lord.” We are to “Rejoice in the Lord,” not our circumstances. Our
rejoicing is to take place in Christ. We are to delight in Him. The apostle Paul
had inner joy when his external circumstances did not look very promising.
What for you is the most difficult time or situation for
you to rejoice? Do you find it difficult to “rejoice in the Lord always” when
your good name and reputation have been smeared? Do you find it overwhelming to
“rejoice in the Lord” when you are under the weight of despondency or
depression? Is it hard to “rejoice in the Lord” when you are slandered for the
sake of Christ? Illness, sickness of a child, aging parents, and bankrupts are
times to “rejoice in the Lord.” There is no limit to the exhortation to “rejoice
in the Lord.” In deed, as one beloved pastor said, “Through fire and through
water, through life and through death, rejoice evermore.’”
Whatever happens rejoice. That is an attitude. If you are a
believer in Jesus Christ everything that really matters in this life and the
next is yours in Christ. If you trust in Jesus Christ the whole covenant of
grace is yours with all of its infinite inheritance. You have a right to
everything that grace provides as a coinheritor with Christ.
“Rejoice in the Lord” is something every Christian can do
regardless of the chances, changes and circumstances that come in your life.
Is your hope fixed on Jesus Christ? Rejoice in Him! Are you
a partaker of the life that is in Him? Rejoice in Christ! Have you been begotten
to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Rejoice in Him!
The Psalmist said, “Delight yourself also in the Lord.”
Have you been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Rejoice in Him! Do you
know the electing grace of the Father that has given you eternal life? Rejoice
in the Lord! Have you experienced the forgiveness of all your sins? Rejoice in
Christ! Has the Holy Spirit spread abroad in your heart the love of God? Rejoice
in Him! Do you delight in knowing you have been saved by grace through faith in
Christ? Break forth with rejoicing with all your heart and soul! Do you delight
in knowing Jesus Christ died as your substitute on the cross? Rejoice in the
If you have been saved the Holy Spirit has taken up
permanent residence in you. Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in His dwelling in you,
quickening you, comforting you, and the illuminating His Word. Rejoice in Him!
Is He abiding in your forever? Rejoice and be glad!
And there are many, many more great and mighty things God
has done in Christ that should make you rejoice and keep on rejoicing. His
covenant of grace, redeeming blood, divine sovereignty, effectual call to
salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification, final perseverance,
vital union, etc., etc. Rejoice forevermore!
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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