To be honest, I have always had a hard time with this verse. Rejoice always? Is that even possible? Why should I rejoice? What if I don’t have anything to rejoice about?
Drawing further into a life of joy has required me to wrestle with these questions. After all, rejoicing is part of having joy. One by one, here is what I discovered.
Yes always! In fact, this is not just started outright in Phillippians, but also in 1 Thessalonians 5:16. When something in the Bible is so bluntly repeated, I think of God our Father who knows we sometimes need to hear it more than once to understand he really means it. (If you have kids then you know how he feels!)
Is it even possible to rejoice always?
Yes it is possible, but it is NOT easy. If life is going great, then it is easier to rejoice always, but when we face hardships, rejoicing can be difficult. However, the Bible makes it clear we are to rejoice in every situation, and in every season. Rejoicing is a choice; we can either do it or not, every day we have to decide.
Why should I rejoice?
Rejoicing is connected to joy in two ways: joy makes us want to rejoice, and rejoicing fills us with joy.
The Bible talks about having joy in our relationships, in our work, in our situation(? Not sure what you mean here); but more than anything else, it talks about having joy in God (rejoicing in God).
You see, God is relational, and wants joy to be flowing between Him and his people.
He gives us joy so that we may rejoice in him, and he may rejoice in us.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
What if I don’t have anything to rejoice about?
This my friends, is my biggest struggle. Too often, I plain don’t feel like I have anything to rejoice about.
Not because life is going terrible, but more there just isn’t anything to celebrate.
But you know what? I am wrong.
Phillipains 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord…”
This means rejoice in who God is, rejoice in his word, his truth, and his promises.
These are constants in our lives, and things we can always celebrate.
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalm 68:3