Rejoice in the Lord

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

—Philippians 4:4

Paul’s letter to the Philippian Christians is an epistle of joy. The words joy, rejoice, and rejoicing appear over and over again in this epistle. In the final chapter, Paul gives this command. It is an imperative: Rejoice in the Lord! Now we generally tend to say to people,” Well, I hope you will be happy.” Paul never said that. He said, “Rejoice!” That’s a command, an imperative in the Lord.

Why is that important? We tend to look upon that as some peripheral issue of not too much importance. But Paul obviously felt it to be a very important matter. I think the secret of why this is important can be found in the fact that in Nehemiah 8:10 we are told that the joy of the Lord is our strength. One thing that is true of all strong Christians, they enjoy the Lord. And so consequently they spend much time with Him, in His word, in prayer and in service to Him, and it shows in their countenance.

A great resource for the Christian is found in the hymnal. Here we have centuries of beautiful psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs written by Christians throughout the ages. As one of the hymns says, “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.” Jesus has made me free. With His joy you will be able to serve. With His joy, you will be able to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, rejoice!

Lord, You are my joy and You are my song. I thank You that I can rejoice before You today. When my day is hard and my song stilled, then will I praise You and You will fill my heart with Your presence and joy…