Summary: Message 25 from Philippians. This is the second message exploring Paul's admonition to rejoice in the Lord.
“Rejoice in the Lord”
I have found practicing last week’s message an actual source of joy.
Throughout the day, I have declared, “I choose joy.” I look forward to completing this important topic. Paul specified some specific joy related actions throughout chapter four.
• Stand firm in the Lord 4:1
• Harmonize in the Lord 4:2-3
• Rejoice in the Lord 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
As I mentioned last week, the Holy Spirit has extensively woven this topic all through the entire Bible. It appears nearly 380 times. The Hebrew and Greek nouns refer to an inner state or emotion of joy, cheerfulness, delight, fullness translated commonly by the English terms gladness and joy, cheer. The external expression of that emotion is indicated by the verb meaning to “brighten up, cheer up, be glad, be joyful, make merry, rejoice.
There are also other terms like this state of being or emotion.
Inner joy is nearly always triggered by some event, relationship or experience we perceive as positive or beneficial. This may also include thoughts or memories of events, experiences and relationships. Remembering a fun family vacation may elicit joy. Memories of a friend or relative. Anticipation of a visit, a trip, an event may also trigger emotions of joy. Reflection on God and spiritual truths trigger feelings of joy. Jesus Loves me this I know. Jesus will soon return. God works all things together for good. Jesus loves and accepts just as I am. I am a child of God.
Intentional thoughts about a peaceful place. Think happy thoughts. Go to your “happy place.” Negative thinking produces negative emotions. Positive thinking produces positive emotions. Meditation on truth can reverse negative emotions.
When David felt depressed, he instructed His soul to remember and hope in God and anticipated an occasion to praise God. (Psalm 42.)
Jeremiah snapped out of paralyzing despair to sustaining hope by contemplating the truth about God.
My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, "My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the LORD." Lamentations 3:17-18
The very next verse.
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:19-26
In chapter 4 of Philippians, Paul instructed the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 4:4
Rejoice in the context of your identity with the God of the universe.
The possibility and reality of a relationship with God ought to inspire joy.
Our connection with the source of all joy stands at the heart of our joy which ought to inspire some external response noticeable to all. The outward expression of our inner joy, which we refer to as rejoicing, varies from person to person or culture to culture. Singing, thanksgiving, music, dancing, shouting, feasting, celebrating, corporate and private worship, prayer, praise, laughing, clapping, even crying are examples of joy outwardly expressed.
Clear commands to rejoice
Stirring testimonies and examples of rejoicing.
Joy and rejoicing triggers (Reasons)
• Rejoice in God Himself
You will increase their gladness; they will be glad in your presence is with the gladness of harvest as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
In your presence is fullness of joy. The thought of God as our loving father, good and caring shepherd triggers joy.
• Rejoice in God’s salvation
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ… Ephesians 1:3
These declarations of blessing God flow out of a joyful heart.
strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:11-12
• Rejoice at the salvation of the lost
• Rejoice over God’s sovereignty
• Rejoice in the glorification of Jesus
• Rejoice in God’s works
For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. Psalm 92:4