IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF REJOICING ALWAYS IN THE LORD
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
THERE is a marvellous medicinal power in joy. Most medicines are distasteful; but this, which is the best of all medicines, is sweet to the taste, and comforting to the heart. We noticed, in our reading, that there had been a little tiff between two sisters in the church at Philippi,— I am glad that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for ignorance on such subjects;— but, as a cure for disagreements, the apostle says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway.”
People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offence or to take offence. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord. Should it not be so? What is this joy but the concord of the soul, the accord of the heart, with the joy of heaven? Joy in the Lord, then, drives away the discords of earth.
Further, brethren, notice that, the apostle, after he had said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway,” commanded the Philippians to be careful for nothing, thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord. No, my brother, you will not be able to keep on with your fretfulness; no, my sister, you will not be able to weary yourself any longer with your anxieties, if the Lord will but fill you with his joy. Then, being satisfied with your God, yea, more than satisfied, overflowing with delight in him, you will say to yourself, “Why art thou cast, down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” What is there on earth that is worth fretting for even for five minutes? If one could gain an imperial crown by a day of care, it would be too great an expense for a thing
which would bring more care with it. Therefore, let us be thankful, let us be joyful in the Lord. I count it one of the wisest things that, by rejoicing in the Lord, we commence our heaven here below. It is possible so to do, it is profitable so to do, and we are commanded so to do.
The Joy of the Lord, the Strength of His People
A further source of joy is found by the Christian, who is living near to God, in a deep sense of reconciliation to God, of acceptance with God, and yet, beyond that, of adoption and close relationship to God. Does it not make a man glad to know that though once his sins had provoked the Lord they are all blotted out, not one of them remaineth; though once he was estranged from God, and far off from him by wicked works, yet he is made nigh by the blood of Christ. The Lord is no longer an angry judge pursuing us with a drawn sword, but a loving Father into whose bosom we pour our sorrows, and find ease for every pang of heart. Oh, to know, beloved, that God actually loves us!
‘Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
I don’t know what is going on in your life; but, if you’re a Christian you have cause for rejoicing. And that may be the best place to begin expressing your gratitude to the Lord. Before Jesus came into our lives we were without God and without hope. We were dead men walking. It was just a matter of time when we would step off into the abyss and be lost forever. We had no power to save ourselves. We were headed in the wrong direction and didn’t even know it. Without the cross and without God’s divine intervention in our lives, we would be lost forever. But His mercy endures forever! But God did intervene. But God did convict you of your sin. But God did call you out of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. He did save you and that is the bedrock of your gratitude. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
We need to live a life that is dedicated to expressing gratitude and attitude of gratitude and praise towards God because time and time again He has shown and proven his faithfulness. God is the God above all. He is mighty in all his ways. He is the one that deserves all the praise.
Dear God, my heart will always rejoice when I think of your love and the Grace you have gifted me with. It is because of your Son, Jesus Christ, I am free from the power of sin and death. I no longer have to fear death and destruction or the threats of the enemy because I am resting and hidden in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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