“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” vs. 4
Most of us believe that rejoicing is something we do when wonderful things happen in our lives…our team wins the big game…a long awaited child is born…we get the raise we’ve been waiting for…the list could go on. There are many occasions for pure joy in the course of a lifetime. But Paul told the Philippians to rejoice always…how in the world is that even possible? There are so many dark ugly things that happen and we’re often left in the depths of despair. Surely Paul can’t imagine that we could rejoice in moments like that. But it’s not a mistranslation…Paul meant what he said, but his little phrase “in the Lord” has to be included in our quotation. It’s very true that suffering comes our way in a big time at regular intervals. There are break-ups, death, cancers, suicides, aging, pain…again the list goes on. But it makes a world of difference to experience those things in the context of the Lord’s presence. As we live in Christ, all that happens is bathed in love and kindness, and we are strengthened in mind and heart. Our joy comes in spite of our suffering and our world of darkness is penetrated by the laser-like love and grace of God. So Paul’s not wrong! We really can rejoice in the Lord always…and it’s not just putting on a show of piety. Sure there are tears…but the joy will wipe them away.
Thought for the Day: What’s the relationship between faith and joy?