Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (ESV)
This short verse packs a powerful punch. The Philippian believers needed to be encouraged. They had been harassed by false teachers who wanted to undermine the teaching of the Gospel of God's grace and replace it with a return to the keeping of the Law. It can be very difficult to maintain joyful focus in life when your very beliefs are under constant attack.
Rejoice. This is a command to be full of joy. How is that possible? The reality is that Paul is giving a blanket instruction here. This command to be full of joy is for every moment of every day. He puts no restriction on it. In fact, this command comes from someone who is chained in a prison cell. Paul clearly believes that a command to rejoice is in no way hindered by negative circumstances.
In the Lord Always. Now we know how it is possible to be full of joy. Our source of joy is our wonderful Lord. If our joy was to be sourced in our circumstances it would be a fleeting and infrequent experience. It is only as we seek to have all of our needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) met in our great Savior that we will truly have joy.
Again I Will Say, Rejoice. I have often said that when it comes to reading Scripture we need to emphasize what the Bible emphasizes with the emphasis it uses. In this verse we have a command which is followed up by an immediate reminder. Paul is saying Rejoice. Did you hear me? Rejoice! This is not a light instruction. There is great emphasis here. it is important. Rejoice in the Lord!
Are you hassled by the worries and pressures of life? Those circumstances are real and can be brutal. I have a message for you. Rejoice in the Lord. Did you hear me? Rejoice in the Lord!