16 November 2019

Rejoice in the Lord Always

God is eternally blessed, and he is pleased to share his happiness with his people. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). We who belong to him have every reason to be joyful.

We rejoice, first of all, in God’s amazing grace to us, undeserving sinners. He sent his Son Jesus to die in our place to free us from our sin. He called us by the gospel and gave us a new heart. We are now justified by faith and at peace with God. Even more, he has adopted us as his sons and daughters, and we can now call him our Father.

Moreover, God has come to reside in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. He works through his word to transform us into the likeness of Christ. Even as the Lord loves us, we have discovered the joy of being kind and generous to others. It is not always easy to do good, but by the Spirit’s help, we are willing to suffer for doing God’s will, even when others mistreat us. It is our greatest honour to suffer for his name’s sake.

During our short pilgrimage on earth, we are learning to rejoice in all circumstances. We rejoice in health and prosperity, grateful for God’s generosity. We also rejoice in hardships and sorrows, knowing that our sovereign God is in perfect control even of the tiny details of our lives. God has promised that all things work together for our good, including disappointments, trials and sickness. Even death is our gain.

God has promised to be with us his children always, in the green meadows and in the dark valleys. He has pledged to bring us safely to our heavenly home. There we shall see him face to face.

Ultimately we rejoice in him. We appreciate his gifts for they are tokens of his love, but our hearts yearn after him. We love our Saviour. Like a bride rejoicing in her husband, the church finds her greatest joy in communion with her Beloved. From the bottom of our heart, we cry out to him, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25).