Rejoice In the Lord Always
Philippians 4:4 tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. But we find it so hard to rejoice in affliction, when times are bad, when life just doesn’t seem to be kind to us. And yet that is when we are to rejoice the most. When we suffer, that is when God is the closest to us.
Philippians 4 goes on to say, “Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” Paul tells us that when we are suffering, it is at that time that we must show all men that it is well with our soul, because God is with us. We must have a forbearing spirit, or in other words, we are to be patient. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit.
Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance (patience), and endurance (patience) produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Yeshua/Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Let’s keep looking at some Scripture so that we see clearly that rejoicing in our times of trouble is really what God wants us to do.
Paul tells the Philippians this in Philippians 2:14-17: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Messiah I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Sometimes we have to sacrifice so that good will come from it, and so we must rejoice that we have the opportunity to do good for others.
Paul tells the Colossians in Colossians 1:24-26, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Messiah’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.” We see that Paul could rejoice because he saw the outcome of his tribulations. He knew that his life, with all of its troubles and hardships, was resulting in the good of God’s people.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Messiah Yeshua! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Peter tells us that we can rejoice because of Messiah Yeshua who suffered for us. So now we know that when we suffer it is for us to grow, so that we too may have the same result from our faith, salvation. And again in 1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice insofar as you share Messiah’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”
And of course Revelation 19:7 tells us the greatest reason to rejoice is because it makes us ready for the day: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
During this time that we give thanks, let us rejoice because we have so much to be thankful for, for in all things rejoice always.