Rejoice in the LORD

KEY VERSE: “Rejoice in the LORD alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” —Philippians 4:4

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:4-20

THE THOUGHT OF being a rejoicing Christian is one of the golden themes of this epistle of Philippians. Of course we know that present circumstances do not always call for rejoicing. Our Key Verse exhorts us, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” We have great reason to rejoice in the Lord in spite of present conditions, but it requires faith and hope. Faith tells us that every step is ordered of the Lord. If this is true, then he orders the whole journey of life, because our lives are made up of one step at a time.

In Galatians 5:22 we read that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, as a fruit it must grow and develop. The Master said, “Your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16: 22) And he also said that he has given us the truth that our “joy might be full.”—John 15:11

The Apostle James adds, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2) Why? We know that the Lord directs our providences, and all the experiences he permits to come into our lives contain necessary lessons for our Christian development. We know that all things which he allows are for the purpose of developing in us the “fruit of the Spirit,” and that the sum total of these will result in ultimate blessing. (Rom. 8:28) This is why we rejoice in the Lord and in his providences.

Our sympathy goes out to the suffering world, and we long for the time to come when peace and health and life will be assured to all. Our sympathy is an active one. By it we are impelled to tell the suffering world about the kingdom which is so near. And what a joy the proclaiming of the kingdom message has brought to the hearts of those who receive it!

Because God is our refuge and strength in this time of trouble, we will not fear, “though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” (Ps. 46:1,2) The signs given in the Word of prophecy which betoken the removal of the symbolic earth—“this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4)—are seen all about us. The people of the world have also seen this ‘removal’ taking place, but their hearts are fearful.

“There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.” (Ps. 46:4) ‘Streams’ seem to symbolize the many promises of God which outline the divine plan. They rejoice the hearts of those who have been translated out of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son—that ‘city’ which represents the people of God who are alive and remain during these early years of the Master’s presence. While fear fills the hearts of others, these are made ‘glad’.

Above all things, we rejoice in the Lord. Through the truth we have learned to know him, and to put our trust in him. Next to the Lord, we rejoice in the truth which has revealed to us his wisdom, justice, love, and power. We rejoice also in one another, in the privileges of fellowship we enjoy with the Lord’s people of ‘like precious faith’.

David gives assurance that “God is in the midst of her [God’s people]; she shall not be moved: God shall help her when the morning appeareth.” (Ps. 46:5, Marginal Translation) The ‘earth’ is being removed, the ‘mountains’ are being carried ‘into the midst of the sea’, but ‘she shall not be moved’.

Peter adds, “An entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Pet. 1:11) This is the kingdom which shortly will manifest itself in power and great glory, the kingdom we are receiving during this time when all earthly kingdoms are being removed.

What great rejoicing this knowledge brings to our hearts!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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