“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
“Rejoice in the Lord always”
The reason for a Christian’s joy centers in the presence of the Lord. We can never lose our source of joy because we never lose the Lord. Two lovers always sustain their joy when they are together, no matter what circumstance they face. The essence of our joy is in the location or sphere.
We cannot rejoice in our health, because it is not always good. We cannot rejoice in our circumstances, because sometimes bad circumstance comes into our lives. We cannot rejoice in our bank account, because sometimes it is insufficient. We can always rejoice in the Lord, because He is always the same: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
Nehemiah argued the same point:
“The joy of the LORD is your strength” (Ne. 8:10). There is spiritual strength in centering our focus on the Lord. Habakkuk as well said that the Lord was his goal: “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (3:18). Joy in the Lord takes resolve.
The Psalms also plead this point:
“In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (16:11). The presence of God produces joy.
“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (32:11). There is joy in one’s integrity before God.
“Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (51:12). This is the Psalm David wrote after his adultery with Bathsheba. The joy he requested is not the restoration of his joy but the joy of his God after his confession and restoration back into fellowship.
Jesus assured us of His joy:
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). There is a relationship between Jesus’ joy and our joy.
“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:11). There is joy in knowing that God answers prayer in Jesus’ name. We now have a new authority to pray.
The essence of God’s domain is not physical but spiritual:
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).
God is the source of joy:
“Now may the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13).
The fruit of the Spirit is joy:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22, 23).
Christians are to calculate it 100% undiluted joy when they enter into trial. Joy in trial produces character:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2).
Joy in anticipation of seeing the Lord again enables us to face trial:
“In this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6,7).
The word “always” in Philippians 4:4 indicates that this joy covers every situation we might face. We rejoice not only in the present but in any future point as well. All of us rejoice occasionally when we have our own way; we rejoice when we have our health or money in the bank. God wants us to rejoice in every situation, even in bad relationships.
“Again I will say, rejoice!”
The repetition of the word “rejoice” indicates the crucial need for joy in broken relationships. The word “joy” is a keynote of the epistle. Paul struck this note over and over throughout the book. A man in jail used “rejoice” 18 times. Here he repeated it for emphasis. It is joy that will dispel antagonism.
Joy dispels antagonism among believers.
Can you rejoice in any situation? Does that word “always” bother you? Can you rejoice in that sad relationship?