“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.”
So just how do we do what Paul is telling us to do? How do we “rejoice in the Lord always”? Does this mean that we can never be sad or depressed or grieve? I don’t think it means this at all. After all, we are human and we are emotional beings. But I think we can agree that finding our joy always in the Lord is a good thing. So again, how do we do that when so much of what we experience everyday is set up to rob us of whatever joy we do have?
Here are a few Scripture verses and a few comments that might help as you seek to “rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.”
Reset your mindset. James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” We need to train our minds to consider the trials and difficulties that come our way as growth opportunities and not roadblocks to our success.
Think eschatologically. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” If we can keep the end of our pilgrimage in mind then the journey becomes much less arduous and much more adventurous.
Listen for the singing voice of God. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Have you ever heard God singing over you? Find a quiet place and attune your heart to the heavens.
Sing when you don’t feel like singing. Psalm 5 which is a song starts off “Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.” And it ends like this, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.” Oft times a good song is what is needed to rejuvenate and nourish the soul. Do you have a song like that?
Confess and repent. Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Sin had cost David his joy. Heartfelt confession and genuine repentance was the way to get it back. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Do we enjoy sin more that we enjoy God?
Remind yourself of who God is. Psalm 33:21 says, “For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” The names of God are in effect reminders to us of the promises of God. Jehovah Shalom – God is our Peace. Jehovah Jireh – God is our Provider. Jehovah Rapha – God is our Healer. We often forget who our God is and it saddens our heart rather than gladdening our heart.
Delight yourself in God’s Word. Psalm 19:8 says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” And Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” Do we hunger for the Word of God in the same way that we look forward to our next meal? And have you asked yourself the question, “why not?”
May this brick help you to diagnose why you might not find your joy in the Lord and then give you some help in restoring the joy of your salvation.