The will of God in Christ Jesus is that we rejoice always. How is that possible in the world we wake up in each morning? It is not conceivable if we are only looking at eye level. A small view leaves us with a small view. Instead, look out, look further, look up. We can rejoice because our names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20) We can rejoice because He is giving us “beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” (Isa 61:3)
The Lord, on the night He was betrayed, promised the disciples (and us in a sense), “…you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.” (John 16:22) When our joy leaves, is it taken away or are we, in fact, giving it away? Either way, here is what He tells us we must do to get it back, to keep it: “…Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)
Still, my goodness, the trials and tribulations, they do come, don’t they? To say the least, they can disturb and distract us from any such temperament of perpetual jubilance. Like the country song crones, “But here in the real world/ it’s not that easy at all/ Cause when hearts get broken/ It’s real tears that fall…”
Nevertheless, remember, you and I have been begotten “to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet 1:3-5)
We have a living hope, today, right now, that cannot be taken away. Hallelujah!
“In this you greatly rejoice,” continues Peter, “though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” (Vs. 6-9)
That is awesome and provides us with everything we need to rejoice always!
Do you rejoice always? It is the will of God.
Next time – Pray without ceasing.