Posted by: mikenicholsblog | November 20, 2014

and again i say rejoice

Today I had great intentions about the article I wanted to write, but sometimes life gets in the way of my plans.  So rather than write something that could be quick, disjointed and lose the intent of what I wanted to say, I am choosing to live in joy and give you words from years ago that I trust will resonate with you where you are.

Happiness is such a fleeting emotion. It is not unusual to be on top of the world one day, and a valley dweller the next. Circumstances can, in a moment’s time, give us a jolt of emotional bliss or bring sadness to our spirit. We all know that life is not about happiness, but it’s a normal response to crave it. There is something in all of us that desires to have a good day, to hear good news, or just to feel good about life. Even the Declaration of Independence declares that the “pursuit of happiness” is a right. Although we will never live a perpetually happy life, we can live a perpetually joyful journey. Happiness always is not realistic, but rejoicing always is!

Our counsel to rejoice comes from a man who was a prisoner in Rome. Paul was under house arrest when he wrote the book of Philippians. He wasn’t a man just giving happy talk, but a man controlled by a true sense of joy that rose above any circumstance. It is one thing for someone in a good place to instruct others to rejoice, but it is far more meaningful to speak of rejoicing from prison. Under the inspiration of God, Paul gave the Philippian Christians words that still ring true today.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

All Christ-followers have the same opportunity for joy that Paul challenged the Philippians with. He made his point with obvious impact by repeating the word “rejoice” twice. If joy were an emotion like happiness, then we could assume that the feelings of joy would come and go, just like happiness.

“But joy is not a feeling; it is the deep-down confidence that God is in control of everything for the believer’s good and His own glory, and thus all is well no matter what the circumstances.”
The John MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Philippians

It’s sad but true, most believers don’t live with a deep-down confidence that God is in control. I would be less than genuine to proclaim that I have mastered the choice to live with perpetual joy. Studying this passage of scripture shows that rejoicing is to be a continual, habitual practice. We can rightly assume that God, through Paul, told the Philippians to live with a heart of rejoicing. Is our challenge and opportunity today any different? I don’t think so!

Living with a deep-down confidence that God is in control leads to a life of rejoicing. Circumstances will not always be good, but God always is. Our problem is that we believe intellectually that God is in control, but refuse to personally experience what He has made available. Accept today by faith, that God’s design for you is a perpetually rejoicing heart. It will take choosing His truth over your emotions, but the results are worth it.  We may crave happiness, but what we really want (and need) is joy!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: