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In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:12).
He wanted us to rejoice, regardless of the circumstances around us.
Paul took this instruction so seriously, he said it twice: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4).
We often confuse joy with being happy.
But most of the time we are only happy when everything around us is as we would like it to be. Happiness can disappear in a moment. Just check you emotions next time someone cuts in front of you while you drive in traffic.
Happy one moment.... happiness gone the next.
Joy, on the other hand, comes from our spirit man and can be sustained even when things around us are not at all what we would like them to be.
"But if my life seems to be falling apart, what is there I can rejoice in?" you might ask.
Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord.
In Him you will always find something to be joyful about.
In Barnes' Notes on the Bible he writes: "It is the privilege of Christians to do this [rejoice in the Lord], not at certain periods and at distant intervals, but at all times they may rejoice that there is a God and Saviour; they may rejoice in the character, law, and government of God - in His promises, and in communion with Him."
I think that is profound.
We can always rejoice in the fact that there is a God and that we are in the privileged position to be in relationship with Him.
We can rejoice in His love, His mercy and grace.
We can rejoice in our salvation.
We can rejoice in all His promises, knowing He always keeps His word.
God never changes. Everything else around us can change, but He stays a constant.
All your sources of happiness may dry up, but God will always be there to fill you with joy if you take the time to rejoice in Him and all He is and does for you.
Rejoice in the Lord, always!