“… sorrowful, yet always rejoicing …”
— 2 Corinthians 6:10
In the midst of a recent illness, at a time when I felt such pain that tears coursed down my cheeks and fell to the floor, I could honestly say to my wife, “I believe that God is good and will yet lift me up out of this.” And in my heart, in the midst of the pain and tears, I rejoiced in God’s goodness. I rejoice because my faith rests upon those things that God has told me; therefore, no matter what my circumstances are, I always have something to rejoice about.
How can God command us to rejoice when we feel miserable? One reason is very clear: A joyful Christian serves as the best possible testimony for Jesus Christ. When we rejoice, the world sees that Christ has fulfilled His promise to give us His joy abundantly. That joy goes beyond what we can summon up within ourselves and cannot be diluted by the challenges life hands us. Paul wrote his famous words, “Rejoice in the Lord always” while in the depths of a Roman prison. He was in chains, awaiting a capital trial. His prospects were dreary, his hope almost nonexistent, and his comforts nil. Yet despite all this, he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
The secret, of course, is found in the words “in the Lord.” So many people seek happiness and do not find it. Happiness is determined by happenings, and happenings fluctuate constantly; they are ever-changing and ever-shifting about us. But if we seek Jesus, we will find joy. He is the wellspring and the source of all joy. Rejoice in your circumstances? No. Rejoice in the Lord … in His goodness … in His grace … in His mercy … in His patience … in His faithfulness. We rejoice in what He has done for us on the cross and through His resurrection. That is the secret of rejoicing, of singing and making a melody in your heart to the Lord in all circumstances.
Do you have that joy today? Whatever your circumstances, seek the Lord and allow Him to give you His joy.