We are COMMANDED by Almighty God to “Rejoice Always!” Elsewhere in the Bible (particularly Philippians 4:4), we are commanded to “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
In order for us to “rejoice always,” we must first, do what is commanded of us in verse 17, “pray without ceasing.” When we learn to give God proper thanks in “All thing,” … not for all things, as happening for the best, knowing that He’s working it for our good, then, we will have continuous joy.
How do we know this? Because of other passages that bear witness to what was previously said, which in turn, gives us the assurance of what God is trying to bring to pass, in our lives. I’m talking about passages, such as, Ephesians 6:8, “Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” Philippians 4:6, “ Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Romans 14:17, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Throughout sacred Scripture, God encourages His children to ‘REJOICE!” Why is it that many Christians don’t seem to have joy in their lives?
First, we must acknowledge that many Christians show very little excitement about what God has already given us as well as done for us. Example, He predestined a remnant of the lost to live with Him in Glory: Not all souls will receive this GRACE, that’s expressed in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [In other words, “OK, God, I’m going to heaven … what else You got? An attitude with no gratitude.]
God honors those who are thankful for the little things that He does for them. Then, there are those that are simply grateful, for whatever God does for them,
And a good example is the story in Acts 8 concerning Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Look at verses 37-39, “[Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] And he ordered that the chariot be stopped; and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord [suddenly] took Philip [and carried him] away [to a different place]; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but he went on his way rejoicing.”
From the pulpit, we need to seriously teach the saints about all things that the Father has done/given us through His son Jesus: explained properly, it would help us to appreciate it more. The Apostle John said in his gospel and epistle, that he shared/explained all that he saw Jesus do a say, because it brought such great joy to him, and that he and the other apostles are writing these things to us, so that their joy [in seeing us included] may be made complete, because we’re sharing in the SALVATION that they’re receiving, which includes, healing, deliverance, and preservation.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons Christians don’t REJOICE, as they should:
* They value material things over spiritual things, such as, a new job, promotion, a new house, car, marriage, etc., over the joy of just being a child of God, that has victory over sin.
Saints, I’m NOT saying that we shouldn’t rejoice over material gifts that the Father bestores upon us, but I am saying, if we seem to rejoice more over material gifts than spiritual gifts, then our priorities are out of balance,
And we need to spend more quality time, studying the Word of God!
* They’re governed by their EMOTIONS – some Christians depend more on what they feel in their heart, than basing their beliefs and actions on what the Word of God says about them/situations.
* On the other end, some Christians show very little to no emotions at all, during the service, during prayer, offering, and worship. The Bible states that worship that doesn’t come from the heart, is false pretense, as stated in Matthew 15:7-9, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
A story is told about a man walking into a worship service: the pastor is preaching about God’s love for His people, and the visitor can feel the pastor’s compassion about what he’s saying, so he say, ‘Amen!’ Some of the congregation looks over at him, then back at the pastor. Then the pastor shares about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, that now permits our sins to be forgiven. The visitor, raises his hands and says, ‘Glory!’ At this point ‘ALL’ the congregation turn and stare the man down. Finally, the pastor talks about heaven awaits all true believers; the man stands and in a loud voice, says, “Hallelujah!” At which point, one of the senior members of the congregation, goes over to the man and informs him, “We don’t praise the Lord here.”
If you’ve lost your joy, then pray what King David prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
What was King David asking of the Lord? Give me back that “joy” which was mine when I was conscious of thy favour, and felt that thou wert my Strength and my Salvation. And uphold me with thy free spirit. There is no “thy” in the original text; and it is his own spirit, not God’s Spirit, of which David speaks. “Uphold me,” he says, “preserve me from falling, by giving me a generous spirit.
And last but not least, Psalm 89:15-16, sums everything up, “ Blessed is the people that know the shout of joy: they walk, O Jehovah, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name are they joyful all the day, and in thy righteousness are they exalted.”