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Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
When are we to rejoice in the Lord and what should that look like? What if we don’t feel like it but are rather feeling depressed?
Jas 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (4) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So it is not in the feeling but also in the considering of it also. Not all things are joy but some things are trials. Another translation says “count it all joy”.
This might need a bit of clarification. I will give you an example. I go to a church of about 20 people. Most of these people would be over 60 years of age. Unfortunately these people, and sometimes myself also, do not count it all joy but rather express their negativity. They complain about what the government is doing, or what someone else is doing. I do not believe that we are having our eyes on the Lord while we are doing this.
As mentioned in a previous post:
In this post was alluded to that not all trials come from God but are rather from the evil one. We can see this in:
Luk 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus to keep ourselves from becoming discouraged. Rejoice in the Lord always!
There was the case of the spies in Numbers:
Numbers 13:30-32 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” (31) But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” (32) So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.
So we see that only two, Joshua and Caleb, came in with a favourable report butthe others with an unfavourable report. In the end they were the only ones of the original children of Israel to enter the land. They entered because they rejoiced in what the Lord was doing. They had their eyes on Him.
David also, was not overcome by looking at the giant because he knew his God was bigger than the giant so he was not discouraged. He rather chose to rejoice in the Lord.
Rejoicing in the Lord is not just singing a song but is much more than that. It is when we see a giant standing in our way we are still rejoicing because we are seeing the Lord as the answer to our problems. It is rejoicing that He is still the answer even in the face of a giant.
When David did that it stirred up the Holy Spirit that was with him and he just naturally did the right thing at the right time! For this reason it says …
2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
In another translation it says “to stir up” and we have the Holy Spirit as a gift but we have to do something before anything will happen and its not grumbling and complaining as the Israelites did in the wilderness. We need to be stirred up from the right source, stirred up on the inside by the Holy Spirit through His word. The scriptures on the inside of us, our hearts. Rejoice in the Lord always! Can we complain and rejoice at the same time?Can we look in two different directions at the same time? No.
So Peter was walking on the water looking at Jesus and while he was looking at Jesus he was fine. As soon as he took his eyes off of him, he saw the waves and began to sink.
Some people say we should “count our blessings” and that is a good thing to do but the best blessing we have is Jesus and the Holy Spirit He has given us and we cannot ever have faith for more than we have if we are only looking at what we already have and not to Jesus and seeing Him always.
The result of rejoicing in the Lord is to be strengthened in the inner man.
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
We need to have the scriptures inside of us-in out hearts to be stirred up. The most unfortunate thing is not enough Christians have this. Christians often learn verses in their mind but they do not allow them to sink down into their hearts.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice and we will see His words come to pass.