“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The believer has a choice each day whether to live in a world of tribulation or to live in the spiritual world of cheer. Your ability to enjoy life is determined by which world you choose to live in.
The verse above is not an option for the believer, but it is a command for the believer. God didn’t ask the believer to rejoice, but He commanded them to rejoice. God never asks you to do something that He doesn’t give you the wherewithal to do. Therefore, no matter how much tribulation you may be facing today, there is still a reason to rejoice. Let me point out several observations that will help you to live in the rejoicing world.
First, you must choose to rejoice. You choose every day whether to complain and grumble about everything, or you choose to rejoice with what the LORD has given you. You can see the glass as half-full or half-empty. You choose to rejoice as much as you choose to grumble. You don’t complain because you come from a family of complainers, but you complain because you choose to complain. Living a life of rejoicing is a choice that you must make each day.
Second, you are to rejoice in everything. God didn’t say just to rejoice in the good times, but He said to “rejoice alway…” In other words, even in the worst of circumstances that you might face, you still can find something in that circumstance for which to rejoice. You would find that it would not be difficult to rejoice if you realized that everything that God gives you in life is more than you deserved.
Third, rejoicing takes a character of perspective. If you are going to rejoice, you must have the character to look at what you have on the inside instead of letting the circumstances on the outside to determine whether to rejoice. One thing the believer has that life cannot take away is their salvation. When circumstances in life are against you, you can look within and see that you are still saved, which in itself gives you a reason to rejoice. If you are going to obey Christ’s command to rejoice, you must have the character to look within and see all that God has given you.
Fourth, you find a reason to rejoice in prayer. Prayer is the major key to rejoicing alway. Verse 6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When you cast your burdens on the LORD, you find the peace you need to rejoice. You cannot live the rejoicing life without casting your cares of life on the LORD in the prayer closet. It is in the prayer closet where the load of life is taken off, and you find the reason to rejoice.
Fifth, you find the strength to rejoice is only found in Christ. Verse 13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” You may not have the strength in yourself to rejoice, but you will find that strength in prayer as the LORD lifts the load from you to give you the strength to rejoice. Let me encourage you to stop carrying the load yourself and go to God in prayer so He can lift the load and give you the strength to rejoice in what you face today.