Paul instructs us to “Rejoice in the Lord always (Php 4:4)” and “Rejoice evermore (1The 5:16).” How can we do that? Allow me to suggest four ways we can do that.
The first is to be constantly aware that we are loved. We know that the Father loves us so much that He gave us Jesus so that in Him we can have eternal life (cf. John 3:16). Paul states in Gal 2:20, “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
How can we measure the love of God? We cannot. The love of God is so great it transcends our mind. It takes the special revelation of God through His Son and Word for us to even realise its magnitude.
Think about the greatness of this gift. Think about the cost of this gift. Let the beautiful truth fill us with awe, gratitude and humility. It is wonderful to love and be loved. We bask in the love of family and friends. There is One who loves us beyond the love of family and friends. It is the Lord, our Father who is in heaven.
The second way we can rejoice evermore in the Lord is to realise that God is using our circumstances and situations to train us in godliness.Paul says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
What is that ‘good’ that is working out for those who love God? Paul tells us in the next verse: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to beconformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren(Rom 8:29).”
Our Father is working through our situations to make us more and more like Jesus. So no matter how tough things get, we can rejoice and let God do His work as we put His precepts into practice.
Peter comforts us with these words:
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (1Pe 2:21-23).”
The third way is to value above all things the relationship we have with the Lord. Paul, in comparing everything he had achieved before he was a Christian, declared:
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Php 3:8-9).”
Paul lost a lot but he gained much more. What he gained is supremely worth having—a relationship with Christ, which would last for eternity. The more of it he had, the more he wanted.
This is what every Christian has; this is what you and I have in Christ. What is it worth to you? What are you willing to let go for it?
The fourth way to rejoice in the Lord always is to freely give what we have freely received (Mat 10:8).The Lord wants us to preach the gospel and to share the knowledge of Christ with others. When we do that, we know we are giving the world what it desperately needs. David says:
“I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation (Psa 40:10).”
It is a joy to be given the privilege to share Christ with others, to give to them what we have also received.The gospel is worth proclaiming, even when people are sometimes hostile toward the messengers. Christians can experience joy and sadness at the same time.
There is joy in sharing the gospel, even when there is sadness when the gospel is rejected. But the joy that comes when someone obeys the gospel! Some of you know what that feels like: leading someone to Christ by the gospel.
“The Lord says that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:10).”
The Lord sent our seventy missionaries in pairs to preach the Good News. Upon their return and report of success, Luke says of the Lord, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit (Lu 10:21).”
What was the cause of our Lord’s joy? It was the conversion of souls; the receptive hearts of the humble toward the message of the kingdom, even though the proud and conceited reject the message.
Looking around the world today, what do we see? Many are walking in the broad way that leads to destruction, facing an eternity without God. What could be more important and worth doing than sharing the Good News about Jesus and the salvation He brings?
Dear saints of God, let us rejoice evermore in the Lord. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13).”