Rejoice in the Lord Always
Christianity was never designed to be a religion of sadness. The words joy and rejoice are found more than 400 times in the Bible. How could any relationship with God be anything other than the most marvelous experience one could have on this earth? When Paul described the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives, the second word he used was joy. Life with Him can never be a life of despair and gloom.
There is joy associated for those who teach others. There is great joy for those who teach. When Jesus told His disciples that the fields were ready to be reaped, He said that both those who sow and those who reap shall rejoice together (John 4:36). The psalmist said that those who sow shall without doubt come rejoicing (Psa. 126:5-6).
There is joy for those who are taught about Jesus. On the day of Pentecost, there were 3,000 who received the word with joy (Acts 2:41). When Philip preached in Samaria, “There was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). The Ethiopian “…went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). The man who found the treasure of the kingdom “…for joy over it goes and sells all he had and buys the field” (Matt. 13:44). Think about your own experience. Has there ever been any day surpassing the day your sins were forgiven?
There is joy in the midst of trials as a Christian. When adversity comes into our lives God tell us to “….count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (Jas. 1:3). How can this be? God gives the answer in the verses that follow. It is the trials in our lives which make us “…perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” Notice also that God said count it all joy! We must not focus on the trials of adversity but on the results of them.
Jesus used some amazing words to describe our response when we are hated by others for His sake. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy” (Luke 6:23). He does not see such times of adversity as a time to weep but as a time to rejoice. But, even more than just a time for joy—a time to leap for joy!
There is immeasurable joy awaiting us at the end of our lives. As Paul journeyed to Jerusalem for the final time he passed through many cities. In every one of them there were prophets who foretold the chains and tribulations which he would face when he arrived. Such did not deter his resolve for he longed to “…finish my race with joy” (Acts 20:24). It was this same joy which Jesus spoke of when His disciples were rejoicing that they had the power to cast out demons. He said, “Do not rejoice in this … but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”