Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 (CSB)


Everyone wants joy in life.  Yet we find a common Christian struggle is maintaining a joyful heart.  On the surface, Paul’s words are some of the simplest in the Bible to read and understand. But when you scratch beneath the surface, they raise several questions.  Is it possible to rejoice always?  Is it wrong to feel depressed or sad? Am I supposed to repress pain or sorrow?  How can I simply command a feeling?

We need to recognize that what Paul commands is not just a cheerful disposition, something many have by nature, but he commands something that requires supernatural power—-it is joy in the Lord! So, it does not mean we will never feel depressed or sad because it is not a matter of feeling but of obedience. We must deliberately choose to obey, especially when we’re in difficult circumstances.  He doesn’t say rejoice when your circumstances are going well. He says Rejoice in the Lord always. Joy comes from our relationship with Jesus not our circumstances.  Joy in the Lord is an attitude of contentment and hope based on a belief in God that transcends our dry seasons.

Most people think you get joy when you have all you desire.  But real joy comes when you realize what you deserve. The realization of what you deserved and what you received instead should lead you to great joy.

Be encouraged to Rejoice in the Lord Only!  Rejoice in God, who is the fountain and author of all goodness.  We have so many reasons to rejoice in the Lord, and so little reason to rejoice in anything else.  What do we have that did not come from Him? Or what do we lack that He will not supply? As James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Author Leo Buscaglia, tells this story about his mother and their “misery dinner.” It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to file bankruptcy because his business partner had absconded with their firm’s funds.  His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous dinner.  Other members of the family scolded her for doing it, but she told them “the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week.”  Her faithful act brought the Joy of the Lord into the entire household!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Be encouraged and have a blessed week!