Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to "Rejoice Always"

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”- Philippians 4:4. Make no mistake about it, God desires that we rejoice, but He wants us to rejoice with purpose. If we are not rejoicing with His purpose in mind, we will have merely titillated our senses. Psalm 21:1 Tells us there will be everlasting Joy when God's Kingdom is established on earth. Joy and gladness are not only deep inward feelings, they are also expressed in visible celebration when God's people gather together. Why is rejoicing so import? Because "The joy of the Lord is our strength." Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. A believers joy is conditioned by the believers knowledge of the Word. We know that "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." (I Cor. 13:6). Speaking to believers Isaiah 60:15 says "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated... I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations." No only do we as believers experience joy, we are to pass joy on to others. Ephesians 5:20 says "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." For some, this is difficult, actually, at times, we all stumble over this command. We are certainly a gracious people when things are going well. When we return from a trip safely we are quick to thank the Lord for our safe arrival. But let's suppose the trip was a disaster, we were involved in an accident and we were injured. Perhaps the accident caused a delay that cost a large sale or the loss of an important client. Maybe lightning struck the house, or a burglar broke in damaged the house and stole irreplaceable valuables. Do we see God's hand in these circumstances as well? Or do we serve a God who is only involved in the "Good" things of life? Did Job bemoan his "Bad luck" or murmur against God. Just the opposite, he bowed before Him, and blessed Him (Job 1:13-22). Was Job being fatalistic or blind to reality? Not on your life. People who live by genuine faith in God, always rejoice in the Lord, knowing He is involved in all aspects of life. Paul's exhortation to the Philippians is nothing short of a call to faith, this call goes out to those undergoing some sort of heavy trial. When a believer knows that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of the sovereign, wise, and loving God who is always working for his good, (Romans 8:28-29), then he can truly "Rejoice always." Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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