1996-09-24 - Rejoice
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.
It is an old rule that the affections of the mind; love, joy, anger, fear..., are in their own nature neither good nor bad. For example to be angry is neither good nor bad, Be angry and do not sin (Eph 4:26), or everyone who is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court (Matt 5:22). So to rejoice or not to rejoice in itself is neither good nor bad. But rather it is what we rejoice in that matters. If we rejoice in the toys of the world, it is an evil rejoicing. But we may rejoice in Christ and this is a proper joy. It is the object of our joy that matters, not the fact that you have joy or do not have joy.
Christ is our chief good and is the author of all the grace we have in this life and all the glory we shall have in the next. Therefore, we must chiefly rejoice in Him, and in other things only for Him, the giver of every perfect gift. So we may rejoice in other things, for the Lord and in the Lord. We may rejoice in our selves, as being the Lord's, and in others, because they are in the Lord. We may rejoice in the company of friends, in our fellowship with the faithful, in short, we may rejoice in everything which furthers our spiritual rejoicing in the Lord.
Faith is the mother of our rejoicing in the Lord. Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, and spiritual joy is increased by reading, hearing, and meditating on the Word of God. Joy is increased by a good life. As sin grieves the Spirit, so also good works cheer the soul. The very character and brightness of the Lord's glory delivers us from the hands of our enemies. If you have any feeling of the mystery of faith, even though it be as small as a mustard seed, rejoice in the Lord.
Why rejoice? Simply put, if the Lord of hosts were not your guard, all others creatures and foes would have banded themselves against you, fire would have devoured you, water would have drowned you, the earth would have reached up in a quake and swallowed you. If the Lord of hosts were not your guard the stone would fall out of the wall and crush you, the beam in the roof would fall upon you, your left tire would go out on the freeway and you would hit the center divider. But He has given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways, He places you under His wings and blesses your going out and your coming home. Every way He blesses you that you may rejoice in Him.
Soli Deo Gloria,