Philippians 4:4 Part 2
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”
o, how do I have that joyful spirit always? Is it even possible? Paul tells us to rejoice always. Where did he get the idea this was something we could do? Personally, I think it is every possible, and I am going to share with you how.
I had always thought my joy had to emit from things going on in my life. If something good came my way, I could be joyful. If I get a compliment – joy would be my response. If my day went the way I was hoping, joy was at the end of that day. I rejoiced often, when things were good. The problem with this approach is that when things don’t go away, your joy goes away. This is obviously not the way to rejoice always.
Then I read this verse again. A simple verse. And I caught something I had missed before. This verse doesn’t simply say Rejoice always, but it says Rejoice in the Lord always. The key here is “in the Lord”. I had missed the mark with my joy. I was rejoicing in myself instead of rejoicing in Him. So I started rethinking me reasons to rejoice, and here is what I found.
First I looked at Luke 2:10. The angels have appeared to the shepherds keeping watch in the field. Th angels are there to announce Jesus birth. And the words they use are “We bring you good tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people”. Here is the first key to rejoicing always. Rejoice in His coming to earth! Rejoice that He chose to leave His heavenly home and become a babe in a manger just to save us. That should give you reason to rejoice even if you are having a bad day.
Second, I Peter 1:8 says that since we believe in Christ, we have joy unspeakable and full off glory. Our belief in Him is reason to rejoice. Look what He has done for us, and as a result what He supplies us with! The gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, His grace and mercy, all the promises in His word. How can we not rejoice over all the wonderful things are God has done, and will do in our lives? Rejoicing all the time should be natural.
And third, Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Now, I see two joys set before Jesus. The first is the salvation and eternal life that he provided for all mankind. I have no doubt that this brought Hi great joy, and it should bring me joy as well. Just the fact that He saved me and has a home for me in heaven is enough for me to rejoice. I don’t need to have a perfect life as well. And I will have eternity with Him in heaven – I can rejoice in that as well, without a bunch of earthly goodies.
The second joy that was before Jesus, and helped Him endure the cross was being reunited with His Father. I look at that and can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like when I meet Jesus I heaven. What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! Looking forward to that day brings great joy, and I can rejoice at any time just remembering that fact.
Now if you take all three of those points and sum them up, you have the answer. If we focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, then we can rejoice always, not matter what our lives bring us. Because we rejoice in Him, the earthly trials just fade away.
If you are having trouble rejoicing all the time, try thinking about Jesus first, instead of your own situation. Great joy, unspeakable joy, future joy – It’s all in Him!