Rejoice!

imagePhilippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice!”

Again I say rejoice! I will say it again and again, rejoice! And oh how he did all through the letter to the church at Philippi. Oh how important this teaching is.

Oh to learn the importance of joy in the simple Christian life. What it would mean to those without hope. How they would either question our sanity or seek after our hope.

What does it mean to rejoice? To take delight in. To take pleasure in. To be glad, happy in.

We should be careful not place our joy in our success in ministry or in life…

“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20

We should be careful not to place our joy in our flesh – our willpower, our abilities to conquer. Paul wrote, inspired by God, that it was in his weakness that he would take pleasure!

2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

And earlier on in his letter to the Philippians he wrote of taking joy… not in personal growth or success, but in Christ!

3:1-3 “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh…”

As I consider the idea of rejoicing, I am reminded that we “…sorrow not as others which have no hope…” For we indeed have hope! Even in our loss (one of the greatest things as human beings we will have to endure is the loss of a loved one) we have hope if we have Christ…

In another place we see that even in persecution (I’m thinking of our children in their schools with their teachers and even fellow students that may not appreciate the Christian Faith, of our co-workers employees or employers as well) there can be rejoicing.

Acts 5:37-42
“…After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.” And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! But how? How are we to rejoice?

We have considered the idea if rejoicing in the midst sorrow, yet even more intriguing rejoicing in the midst of the mundane. I say that we are to delight and take pleasure in… Something or someone but not IN the sorrow or mundane or … or. … or…. What have you. Oh, we may rejoice in the midst of these times and seasons, but IN them, themselves? I find there is a better way…

Rejoice in the LORD! The little word IN teaches us much… We are to be glad in… we are to take pleasure in… we are to take delight IN something, in SOMEONE.

IN. THE. LORD.

There is power in these three little words… “in the Lord…”

What do you hope ‘in’ today dear friends?

What brings you joy…

PLEASURE, gladness, peace?

In what do you find comfort and security?

What but that which comes from the hand of the Lord. Here is the key to knowing abiding joy.

Both trial and testing and blessings pressures come from the hand of thee GOOD LORD.

Rejoice in the Lord, I will say it again… rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice.

Rejoicing is more than trust.

It’s more than works and study and duty.

It’s learning to take pleasure in the one that somehow takes pleasure in you.

He loves you.

And oh, this fact does not diminish His Character

It doesn’t place an undue emphasis on us, simply for this reason… His love for us reveals His amazing nature.

His amazing aptitude to do something that no one else could or likely would do. Love the unlovable. The rebel. The dirty. The very ones that by their nature do not love Him… And I contend, that whenever you see this kind of love on the world, it is merely the reflection of His love and should remind us to take heart and rejoice.

And so, REJOICE!