“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). This passage has the weight of a command and not just a request. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always, but one might ask what does it mean to rejoice and what are we to rejoice in? There are countless reasons we have to rejoice in the Lord and in this post we will consider the best reasons we have to rejoice. But what does it mean to rejoice?
The Greek word translated rejoice means to rejoice or be glad. Webster defines rejoice as: to show great joy or delight. This means that we should have the great joy or delight in the Lord so that we may show it by rejoicing.In commanding us to rejoice, Paul assumes that we take great delight and joy in the Lord and such is an attitude that we should have if our heart is right with God.
So what have we to take great delight in as Christians? Most of all is what the Lord means to us. To think that Jesus, who is also God and is equal to God the Father, came to this earth and lived the perfect life, without sin, as an example to those who would follow Him. Then He gave His life on the cruel cross of Calvary as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, thus giving us the ability to be reconciled to God when our sins are forgiven through baptism.
But that is not all. We have great hope and joy in the fact that He then became the first to rise from the dead never to die again. Through His resurrection we have hope that we too will be raised from the dead at the end of time to live eternally with Him and the Father in heaven. Jesus came that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
This is seen not only in the fact that He gives us hope of eternal life, but that He gives us life of a more significant quality in general. He has given us a life that is free from the guilt of sin and which is characterized by service to God, which is how God intended us to live when He created us. In this way, Jesus gives us life because to live any other way is not life at all because we are otherwise dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1).
If we are not overflowing with delight and great joy over these facts we should consider our faith and whether we truly believe them as fact. If we can put our hope and faith in these things, we will be filled with a joy inexpressible and we are commanded to share this with others by rejoicing or showing our great joy to others. If we share our hope with others, they should see our faith as we rejoice and show them the joy that these hopes give us.
Though what I’ve mentioned are perhaps the primary reasons to rejoice in the Lord, the list is really endless in what should fill us with joy and delight in our service to the Lord. In fact, we should delight in every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God (Psalms 1:2). We can rejoice in every story, command and inference that we find in the Holy scriptures and by meditating on them day and night we can be said to rejoice in them.
If we cannot rejoice in the Lord, then it can be safely said that we are not truly in the Lord. We are to love the Father (and the Son) with all our heart, our mind and our soul (Matthew 22:37) and when we do we will delight in all that is God and be so filled with joy that we cannot help but share it with others by rejoicing with our hearts, minds and souls. It reaches to the very depths of our being and all that we are, so it must be reflected in our actions.
If we have not allowed the word to penetrate to the very deepest part of our selves, we must learn to do so by applying it to our lives so that it molds our actions. We must receive the word of God and put God above all else in the deepest, most inner parts of our being. It must penetrate everything that we are or aspire to be. When we can do this, we will have no trouble complying with the command to rejoice always in the Lord.
May God bless and keep you until next time.