S28P8 – Our saintly duty: rejoice

Phil. 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

Have you ever known someone who always meets you with a smile? Do you know anyone with a contagious joy and laughter that seems to infect you no matter your mood or circumstance? I have come across some people in my life who, despite the cares they have in this world, meet each challenge with inexplicable joy. When you find yourself in the company of someone like this, you want to spend as much time as possible with them. There’s something very appealing about a joy that lasts, that transcends every heartache and every trouble. It is so comforting yet so rare that we cannot help but being drawn to it if we do not possess it ourselves. For the Christian, this kind of joy is available to us even right now. In fact, scripture commands us to seek it in the Lord.

Some might think that remaining an a state of constant joy means having to be fake. They believe that life is too difficult and circumstances are too harsh for us to feel joy at all times. I believe this attitude incorrectly assumes that joy cannot be felt in the midst of extreme trouble and heartache. Elsewhere in scripture we are commanded to rejoice in our sufferings when we suffer for the cause of Jesus Christ. We can only reason from these instructions that it is possible to suffer and rejoice at the same time. What we must remember is that the source of our rejoicing is the Lord. The reason for our joy is the Lord, whether in want or in need or in victory or in trouble. Regardless of what we face, we are certain that we have a justified confidence in our relationship with him. This connection that gives us access to his unlimited joy is the source of our rejoicing always.

Life can be really tough, and sometimes it seems as if the tears will not end. Whether we suffer the loss of a loved one or physical illness or a blow to our confidence, there is no shortage of negative circumstances to bring us down. And while grief is something we must experience, it is also possible to remain joyful in the Lord despite our well-founded grief. If we consider the joy to which God gives us access today and the joy that awaits us in our fellowship with him in eternity, there is more than enough to keep us rejoicing now as we go through the toughest of times. It is not only joy but confidence in the promise of God to one day deliver us from this order of things. Father, thank You for the joy that You make available to us even today, and help us to rejoice in You through all things.