It was one of those days where we’d been stuck at home all day because of the heat. The boys were disobeying once again, the laundry needed to be folded, dinner needed to be made, and on top of that my very pregnant belly was making me uncomfortable. While I was in the midst of all of that, thinking how easy it is to be overwhelmed by daily life and daily routine, this verse came to mind: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Looking at this verse a few questions come to mind: In whom do I need to rejoice? When do I need to rejoice, and why do I need to rejoice?
How We Should Rejoice
This is key to the verse—it reads: “Rejoice in the Lord.” As human beings we tend to base our feelings and emotions on our circumstances. As a mom, in my daily life it’s very easy to shift the focus from the Lord to the laundry, or to the kids, or to the dinner to prepare. But what do I dwell on when I rejoice in the Lord? I dwell in the redemptive work of Christ in me.
In Romans 5:11 the apostle Paul says: “But we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” In other words I am commanded to dwell on the eternal salvation produced through the wonderful work of Jesus Christ granted to me by the sovereign choice of God. I have to switch the focus from my circumstances back to the Lord and rejoice in His work in me. After all, having been redeemed by the Father is a much worthier work to dwell on than my problems, like how much laundry there is to fold.
When We Should Rejoice
Always—it’s very clear—all the time. It is not contingent on what’s going on in my life or what I feel at the moment. Rather, it is contingent on Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit now being wrought in me. The idea that somebody could rejoice all the time is other-worldly. It is so foreign to the daily grind that it is unnatural—or supernatural. But because we have the Holy Spirit it is possible to always rejoice!
Our goal must be to rely more on the work of the Holy Spirit and less on our own emotions which can rob us of this joy. One thing that I noticed in my life is that I rejoice more when I am meditating on God’s Word. The more I have an understanding of His character and His sovereign love for me, the more I see His wisdom in all circumstances; the more I am motivated to be joyful in everything. But if I am not consistently in the Word, it is easy to lose sight and drift away from Him and His joy.
Two Reasons Why We Should Rejoice
While I was putting these thoughts down I asked myself, “What are the reasons that bring me to rejoice always?”
#1 – God Commands It
The apostle Paul is not saying “I suggest that you rejoice sometimes in the Lord-when things go well with you then rejoice!” No, he is saying: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!”(Philippians 4:4) It is not a choice.
#2 – Rejoice in God’s Providence
I can rest assured that He has orchestrated everything. Every thought, every word, every action by every being that exists, moves together to fit the perfect plan of God. Romans 8:28 says: “All things work together for good, for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” No matter what’s happening in my life, no matter what season I am in, and no matter where he has placed me, there ought to be thanks and joy over His divine providence. God orchestrates everything for my good and for His glory.
Rejoice No Matter the Circumstances
I don’t know what you are going through right now or what trial you are facing. You might be surviving under the weight of financial burdens, battling a severe illness, or maybe you are going through a loss in your life. Whatever your circumstances may be, I pray you will meditate on Philippians 4:4. Meditate on this verse so that you will rejoice in Christ and His redemptive work in you. Doing so will take the focus off of your trials and put it onto Christ. I encourage you to rejoice always, every day in every circumstance. Lastly, I trust that as you do, you will rejoice in His provision for you and His sovereign plan.
If you find yourself not rejoicing today, then I urge you to repent and be obedient to the Lord’s command. Rejoicing is not a feeling that today is present and tomorrow is not—rejoicing is the constant work of the Holy Spirit in us.