We love to be happy. We take special joy in happy celebrations. But we’re not always happy are we? There’s a lot of stuff in life that steals our joy. We don’t rejoice in disappointment. We don’t rejoice in cancer. We don’t rejoice in being mistreated or ignored by others. We don’t rejoice in hardships or injustice. But Paul says we can – and should – rejoice always… when we rejoice in the Lord. (Philippians 4:1)
Why can we rejoice in the Lord always? Because he is the ultimate authority over the suffering and difficulties we face. He is the one who:
- Makes us able to be gentle with others
- Answers our prayer with a peace that transcends all understanding
- Renews our mind with thoughts that are true, pure, and praiseworthy
- Teaches us the secret of being content in all circumstances
- Gives us sustaining strength
- Meets all our needs
We can rejoice in the Lord in the face of all trouble because he is constantly faithful, because his plan is infinitely wiser than ours, and because he offers hope we need and can’t find anywhere else. The world brings pain and disease but we can rejoice in the Lord because he restores our soul. The world is filled with turmoil and anxiety, but we can rejoice in the Lord because he gives us peace that transcends all understanding. The world is full of uncertainty but we can rejoice in the Lord because his faithfulness is constant. We can rejoice in the Lord because he is strong when we are weak, because he loves us when we are most unlovable, because he calls us when we aren’t even looking for him, and because he never abandons us even when we turn our back on him. We can rejoice in the Lord because the headlines at the end of all time read, “God Wins!” and those found rejoicing in him win with him.
If you have nothing else except Jesus you may find that Jesus is all you need. I cannot imagine more or settle for less. Paul is not talking about putting on a plastic smile and pretending to be happy. He’s speaking from the personal experience of excruciating suffering and still finding the contented joy in rejoicing in the Lord…always.
Have you learned the secret of rejoicing in the Lord even in the toughest of times? Maybe today is the day to turn to him and ask him to reveal more of himself to you – more of his power, more of his love, more of his joy, more of him in your life.