Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Our Verse of the Day begins a short section of final exhortations to the body of believers at Philippi. (Cf. Philippians 4:4-9) Paul gave them some great points of consideration for their continued walk with the Lord; and I believe his intent was to encourage them to trust God in all things as they live out the Christian life….
Why does Paul intentionally repeat his exhortation to the Church? Why is the expression of joy in our Lord Jesus so essential to our well-being? To me, it goes back to the level of intimacy that we experience in our relationship with Him. When we contemplate what Jesus did for us on the cross … to bring atonement (not just forgiveness, but ATONEMENT) for our sin … well, there just really are no words that can truly express the deep gratitude we feel in our souls for His merciful gift. Jesus reconciled us to God and granted us eternal life in Him, so our gratitude is really offered as JOY in all of its myriad forms of human expression. To rejoice in God our Savior is an expression of thanksgiving for Jesus and all He has done for us!
Indeed, it was His indescribable love that allowed the nails to be driven into His hands and feet … while we were sinners and lost without any hope of redemption. (Cf. Romans 5:8) Through Christ Jesus we receive full atonement and salvation … freedom from the power of sin … release from condemnation, guilt, and shame … and granted the gift of eternal life. Yes, Jesus initiated the most wonderful relationship with us that will ever be known or experienced as humans. He is the author and finisher of our faith! (Cf. Hebrews 12:2)
My friends, if we cannot find JOY in the LORD … if we do not feel moved in our spirits to REJOICE in the God of our salvation … there is something deeply wrong and we need to examine ourselves. If you have lost the spirit of joy in your heart, spend some quiet time with Jesus each day and meditate on all He has done for you. I assure you He has not left you nor forsaken you. He is ever-present and simply waiting for you to come and rest in Him again…. (Cf. Matthew 11:28)
So, I join with Paul this morning to stir our hearts and to remind us to rejoice in the Lord in all ways; … encouraging us to express our joy before the LORD with boldness! Joy IS our offering of thanksgiving for the redeemed lives we have received through Him. May we ever praise and worship our Lord Jesus with joy unspeakable and full of glory! I will say it again: Rejoice!
Psalm 51:11-12 (NIV)
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
Isaiah 12:2-3 (NIV)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord Himself, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.