What does it mean to rejoice? Why rejoice? What reason is there to rejoice?
Quite recently I have come to learn that God continually encourages us to rejoice. It is so much so that the word “rejoice” is used so much in His word. The thing is that many people do not really know or understand what God really stands for so they stay away from Him. How sad!
I will refer to a recent quote which I came across recently. It said many men stay away from God because they fear He will take away that which gives them pleasure. How wrong!
My heart has been opened to some glimpses of His nature and glory that have left me in complete awe and adoration. It may sound unbelievable, but the truth is that God does not take away the things that give us pleasure; He refines them, and He adds new pleasures to the already existing! Yes. He is that special.
Many people see God as this far away fearsome sovereign being who only cares that we do not do wrong. No! This kind of belief only ends up short-changing the beauty we would glimpse in drawing close to Him. God is not far away neither is He harsh, stern and all that. There are different sides to His character just as there are different sides to the characters of each of us. Why do we think or believe He is any different?
Yes, He hates sin with a passion (He is the Father of light and there is no darkness in Him). We all hate one thing or another. He has His own dislikes too. Just as much as He has His likes and pleasures.
The truth however is that God wants us to be glad! He wants us to rejoice always!
We really should understand that He gains nothing when we are sad (although He sometimes uses our sadness to draw us closer to Him). Our troubles do not excite Him. No! Far from it! God is the most Merciful. He is the kindest. He wants us to be happy. More than happy, He wants us to be joyful.
He loves music and dance. As we all know it is really quite difficult to dance when sad or down-trodden.
It is inevitable that we will have trouble in this world. However let us start from what Jesus said on the subject. In John 16:33 He said
…in the world you SHALL have tribulation (insert synonym here); but be of GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world.
We will definitely have hard times. Being a child of God does not mean that things will always go smoothly. In fact we are expected to face persecution and trouble for the singular reason that we are called by His name. Still, we are encouraged, commanded, instructed, nudged, to rejoice.
In several parts of the bible we have been asked to “rejoice before the Lord”. All who trust in God must rejoice.
Rejoicing is a clear indication of the hand of God in a man’s life. A man who never rejoices cannot boldly say that he has God (faith without works is dead).
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous: and shout for joy, all you that are upright in heart – Psalms 32:11
Rejoice in the Lord all you righteous: for praise is comely (attractive, acceptable, welcome) for the upright – Psalms 33:1
His word implores us to rejoice. All through the Word we are encouraged and reminded to rejoice.
In the midst of abundance, rejoice. In the midst of trouble, rejoice. When persecuted, rejoice. When in lack, rejoice.
A perpetually sad Christian is clear evidence of something missing. Children of God have rejoicing in their DNA. It is a part of us just as much as our skins are part of us.
There is something about the Spirit of God that drives us to rejoice. There is an abundance of hope and an assurance that no matter what we may be going through, there will be a testimony at the end of the day. Indeed the assurance that He is always present with us should evoke the spirit and attitude of rejoicing.
The gift of prayer should awaken our desire to rejoice. Daily blessings, memories of His faithfulness, when He toys with us, all these ought to make us rejoice. His gift of peace of mind, forgiveness for our wrongs, His wisdom and simplification of our lives, all ought to awaken us to rejoice.
…and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour – Luke 1:47
…but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy shall no man take from you – John 16:22
He has given us joy. Joy which is far beyond happiness. Joy which makes us celebrate even when we find ourselves in deep messes (happiness cannot do this).
The mere presence of His Spirit is the presence of joy. Joy that flows from His availability and His nature rather than from favourable circumstances.
Rejoice with them that rejoice… – Romans 12:15
Rejoice ALWAYS – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Why do we forget what He has asked us to do? Why do we forget so easily, that which He has already done for us in times past? Why do we carry long faces when we find ourselves in unpleasant situations?
Look around you. Wherever you see a joyful man, you see a man who is blessed and who acknowledges it.
The best praise offered to God is out of hearts of rejoicing. The best offerings laid at His feet are from hearts of rejoicing.
God wants our best and our best is given when our hearts are light. When our hearts are light we rejoice. When we rejoice we are happy, God is happy. He wants nothing less. It is His expectation of us that we rejoice non-stop. Little wonder why so much of His Word is encouragement for our ever troubled hearts!
Will you make God happy? Indeed you will rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice!!!!!!! (Philippians 4:4).
May your days be filled with rejoicing. God bless you.