Verse 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
This is an easy verse to memorize and may have been one of the first we learned as children, but if we looked at many of our lives we would have to admit that knowing the words is not the same as knowing and abiding by the message.
Remember this verse follows a correction given to a couple of the church members. Criticism is one of the hardest times for us to rejoice. We don’t want to rejoice when we have just been called out about something in our lives. But Paul is making a clear point here that it isn’t about rejoicing in ourselves or our circumstances. Paul is wanting them to once again focus on the thing that should be mattering the most in our lives, Christ.
Even in times of biblical correction we should be rejoicing in the Lord. We should be rejoicing that God, in His wonderful grace and mercy, has placed us in a community of believers that can help us keep on the road He has put before us. It also means being able to help others stay on His course.
To rejoice in the Lord is to find great delight in Him. We should find great delight in living His way. In a world that promotes self and wants only what makes self happy we are called to live in a way that makes Christ happy. We know that living in unity in His name makes Him happy and that reason alone should make us seek to be one in Him.
Paul repeats himself emphasizing the need for the Church to be rejoicing. While it is important for the individual to be rejoicing in the Lord how much more so for the Church as a whole. Our worship should reflect this desire to delight in Him. When we are joined together we proclaim His name and take joy in who He is. We rejoice that He loved us enough to come and die a horrible death. We rejoice that He didn’t stay dead and that He has broken the death curse that we were facing.
This rejoicing isn’t just for Sundays, no, Paul is firm in pointing out that we are to rejoice always! In the good times and in the bad times, in the happy times but also in the sad times. We aren’t rejoicing because of our circumstances, we are rejoicing in Him. Celebrating who He is and praising for all He continues to do in our lives.
Making It Personal
Do you find it hard to rejoice in everything? What could struggling to rejoice in Christ about something say about your lack of trust in Him? What can you rejoice in Him about today?
Making It Personal Kids
How do you rejoice in Jesus? What do you rejoice in Him about? What can you rejoice in Him about today?
Father, thank You for this reminder that it isn’t about what is going on around us that should bring us joy but that we should be rejoicing in You all of the time. Help us to always look to You and seek to see what You are doing in our lives so we can praise You for it. In Jesus’ name, amen.