Why Christians should rejoice

Published 8:50 am Friday, May 25, 2018

We often read from the Bible instances of individuals rejoicing and nations rejoicing. David once said, “This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
The same is as true today as it was in the day of King David. But why is it important for the Child of God to rejoice? Why does God demand rejoicing, even in times of national disaster and personal conflict? We should see that rejoicing is not without purpose. It serves as a spiritual weapon when burdens of life are trying to destroy our mind, even our faith. Faith is not a practice that denies the pain and suffering that mankind often has to endure but rather it is a discipline of thinking that keeps our minds focused on the one who is able to help us in times of trouble.
Paul explained it this way, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:3-9 KJV).
While doing what God has commanded is important (vs. 9), Paul begins with the encouragement to rejoice. We should always remember that regardless of the difficulties in life God has blessed us beyond compare. The apostle does not suggest that one should rejoice but commands it. In our rejoicing we remind ourselves of the One in control of all things and doing so can show our humility to God even in times of suffering.
Rejoicing, regardless of the situations we face in life helps to remind us that God owes us nothing; not another year, not another day, not another hour, not even our next breath. Regardless of what God does not owe, He still offers blessings in the face of trials. Every day is a new blessing and an opportunity to remind the world of the God we serve even in times of distress.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of persistence in the face of agony and suffering is the example that Jesus displayed as he faced the horrors of the cross. To His disciples Jesus said, “… In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV). It is certain that the disciples would not rejoice because Jesus suffered but they rejoiced that in his act of love for mankind. In the cross mankind would receive redemption (Eph. 1:7).
So it is for us; while the suffering may be difficult, God can make good, even in the bad times in life. Paul said, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV). In Philippians Paul told Christians to rejoice; consider the following: “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” (Philippians 3:1). “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4 KJV). To the Thessalonians Paul said, “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. (16) Rejoice evermore” (1 Thessalonians 5:15-16 KJV).
Happiness is something that almost everyone is in search of; but we should realize that happiness is a choice not merely a promise. Our happiness is directly related to our rejoicing. When we choose to rejoice we are choosing happiness. What about you? Do you choose happiness or do you allow the troubles of life to keep you bound to sadness and despair.
There is one thing that will bring certain happiness to the life of even the most discouraged. That one thing is becoming a Christian and remaining faithful to God. Are you a child of God you can be if you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, repent of your sins, confess His name before men and submit to water baptism. Will you choose happiness?
(Questions/Answers is provided by Tony Hoss, minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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