Rejoice in the Lord, Always!
Paul wrote: '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.' Philippians 3:1
Have you ever noticed... God commands us to rejoice in Him! Paul knew that the joy in his salvation was key to his walk in the Lord and his walk through this World. Our choice to rejoice, to have joy, is coupled with our choice to be thankful, to thank God in everything... not just the things we happen to believe are good things. In fact, everything that God brings into our lives is for our good.
'Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever... Let those who fear the Lord
now say, “His mercy endures forever.”... The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;... I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation... You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. 29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.’ Psalm 118
'Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.' Habakkuk 3:17
'Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.' Nehemiah 8:10
Joy, rejoicing is not something that can be whooped up and made to happen with tricky choruses or encouraging people to raise their hands and dance around. Joy, real joy only comes from the heart of one who understands, and is thankful, for the full scope of his salvation, that he is forgiven of all sins: past, present and future, and that he stands before God clothed in the absolute, never ending, never lessening Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul knew that and he rejoiced in it, and he worked to instill it in all his readers, all the way through time to us.
'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.' 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Everything that touches us comes from God... everything! And He is at work causing all of those things to work together for our good and His Glory: 'And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.' Romans 8:28
Paul rejoices in his salvation which was planned by God from before Creation... he was predestined to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ... and so was every believer... that, alone, is cause for eternal rejoicing in all things.
'Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:4
'...count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.' James 1:2
Paul said, 'is not tedious' for him to tell his readers to rejoice... he does it over and over again because it is so important for every child of God to be thankful and to rejoice in all that God has done and is doing... everything! Especially the things that we think are bad and could never have come from the Hand of God. Those are the things to especially recognize as precious gifts from God, meant to form us more and more into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ by building within us patience, forbearance and self-control.
For it is God Who is at work within you, it is God Who is at work all around you and it is God Who causes all things to work together for good, for you. He loves you and will never stop His work of forming you into His image and likeness which should be our own highest goal.
Rejoice in the Lord, again I say, rejoice always... give thanks in all things... He loves us and He will never leave or forsake us... ever and forever!