Let The Rejoicing Begin

  By Bob Brubaker  |  

The need to rejoice today has never been greater. The number of people who focus on the negative things in life is ever increasing and the age of depression affects those younger than ever so that the question should be asked, “does anyone rejoice today?”

Stop and think about it. When is the last time you woke up rejoicing in the Lord? When is the last time the thought of rejoicing stayed with you throughout the day? The point is this: rejoicing is in the Lord is not a suggestion in Philippians 4:4, it’s an apostolic commandment which is another way of saying, it’s from the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself as He spoke through the apostles, the men commissioned directly by Himself to speak on His behalf.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

If the Lord Jesus Christ sent you a direct email, text, or letter which said in big letters, ORDERS FOR THE DAY – would you do it? No doubt you would think twice before you neglected it. Well, the written word of God has been given by God as men were moved by the Spirit of God to write and the Holy Spirit also has preserved the word for us so we know we can trust it to be the word of God.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

The call for rejoicing is not something new. It’s found throughout the Bible.

Psalm 5:11 (ESV) — 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.

Psalm 149:2 (ESV) — 2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!

God even judged His people for NOT serving Him with an attitude of rejoicing.

Deuteronomy 28:47 (ESV) — 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things,

Why is this so important for God’s people to rejoice in God, His ways, His grace, etc.?

Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV) — 17 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.

The book of Philippians contains sixteen references to joy and rejoicing in just four chapters so don’t you think this is something important? If God says something once we need to listen. When He says something twice we need to sit up and take notice. If He says something three times we are without excuse (actually even after the first time). But if God elaborates sixteen times on this subject don’t you think we should take heed and do all we can to live by these words?

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Notice it says to rejoice in the Lord always. There is not a time, circumstance, or person left out of the commandment.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; “again I will say, rejoice.

Notice that the command is actually reiterated in the same verse, and again I say rejoice.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

The foundation of the commandment is found in the three words, “in the Lord.” It doesn’t say to rejoice in your circumstances, rejoice in yourself, or rejoice in anything else. The command is to rejoice in the Lord.

Malachi 3:6 (ESV) — 6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Consider this: the world always changes but the Lord never changes. If ever you had a reason to rejoice in the Lord, you’ll always have a reason.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

What about the Lord would make you rejoice? Consider the following verses which demonstrate what God has done for us, even before we ever knew anything about it and what God has provided for us in the Gospel along with His promises. Then consider the entire section of blessings in Romans 8:28-39. Again, I say rejoice!

2 Timothy 1:8–10 (ESV) — 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Hebrews 13:5–6 (ESV) — 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Romans 8:28–39 (ESV) — 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Think about it. Do you have any legitimate excuse as to how you can get out of this?

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

If you want to fulfill any command that God has given, you have to plan for it, trust God for help as you depend upon Him for the help you need, then rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit (the same power that raised Christ from the dead – See Ephesians 1:19-20), and put forth the effort to apply the word.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker

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