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Monday, October 30, 2023

Again I Say Rejoice!



“These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus said, “that in Me you may have peace. In the world you, will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33


The world experiences joy and peace in direct proportion to its circumstances. Bad circumstances create depression and sadness, while good circumstances create joy and peace. Being dependent on our circumstances to give us joy and peace is being in bondage to our emotions. As Christians, we don’t have to let our circumstances and feelings determine our joy. We can determine to be of good cheer! Christ has overcome the world. Our joy is not dependent on what is happening in our lives, but rather on Jesus Christ. He is our peace and joy. 


The way to receive the benefit of our peace and joy in Christ is to have our minds and hearts focused on things above and not on things of this world. The unseen things of God are eternal while our visible problems on earth are only momentary. The problems in our lives fade in comparison to the glory that is ours through Jesus.


“Rejoice in the Lord always,” Paul wrote. “Again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4)!”


We can choose to rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoicing is an action that comes out of our trust in God. It is not a reaction to our problems. Joy is a gift that was given to us at salvation. God’s joy is constant and doesn’t fade away. We are the ones who aren’t constant and fade away when circumstances are hard. The Lord has put His joy in us. We are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord.” When we choose to obey this command in Scripture—to rejoice in the Lord—we draw out the joy that is ours in Christ.


Many Christians don’t experience real joy because their joy is determined by their circumstances. They are waiting to rejoice when things in their lives are going well. But it is very seldom that everything goes well. “Rejoicing in the Lord always” means we are to rejoice continually in who the Lord is and what He has done for us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8), and His mercy and compassion for us are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).


Joy comes from knowing who we are in the Lord. His joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Happiness is a state of well-being that is dependent on how our circumstances make us feel. We may not always be happy, but we can always rejoice. We can rejoice regardless of what’s happening to us. The reason many Christians don’t rejoice always is because they don’t realize that they already have joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We have joy, but we must choose to rejoice.


Rejoicing in the Lord is not a suggestion or a request from Paul. It is a command from the Holy Spirit. Those who don’t follow this command are breaking the Word of God just as much as those who don’t follow God’s moral law. It is our choice to do as we are instructed. And it is all for our benefit! It is the best choice for is! Rejoicing in the Lord gets our minds off our circumstances and on God’s faithful love for us. 


Paul’s command to “rejoice in the Lord always” makes it clear that we have to take authority over our emotions.  If we were unable to control our emotional reactions to our circumstances, the Lord would never give us a command that is impossible to keep. The Lord would be unfair and unjust to give us an impossible command and then hold us accountable for it (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).  But our God is not unjust, and He only commands us to choose what He knows we are capable of doing. To rejoice in Him always encourages our faith.


Praise God, we have the power to control our emotions! Our circumstances don’t have to control our feelings. We can rejoice in the Lord!  Again and again! Jesus has given us peace and joy. He has overcome all of our circumstances. We are at peace with God in the righteousness that is ours in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).


The Word instructs you to rejoice in the Lord always! And then it reminds you that “rejoicing always” is critical. “Again, I say rejoice!” 


Your circumstances will never give you lasting peace and joy. You have the joy of the Lord that the Holy Spirit reveals in the Word. Isn’t it time to know in your heart who you are in Christ and what He has given you?


“Your words were found, Lord, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).




© 2023 Lynn Lacher



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