We ought to view this as a command because it is stated in the Word of God. It is also a challenge, because life is tough and we are weak. But we should also remember that it is a choice. Were it not possible there would be no obligation on our part. Regardless of how we feel, or what the circumstances are, as Christians this is a choice the we have the power to make. And there are great blessings in doing so. Rejoicing in the Lord colors our thinking about everything in life.
James Smith wrote,”This is a very difficult precept; sometimes the Lord hides His face; we fear and doubt our interest in His love; we are almost bewildered through the powerful workings of corruption within us; we are bowed down by Satan’s sore temptations; and the dispensations of providence are so perplexing, that we are ready to cry out, All things are against us. But we are not bidden to rejoice in frames and feelings, or in the dispensations of providence, but in the Lord. He has loved us with an everlasting love, and His love is immutably the same; He is our God in Jesus, and has promised to be unto us, to do for us, and freely give us, all that our circumstances require, or that will be for our good and His glory. In weakness we may rejoice in His power; in darkness we may rejoice that He knoweth our path; in sickness and sorrow, that He careth for us; and under any circumstances, in His covenant relations; for He is always our Father, Friend, and God. We should rejoice in His free grace, rich mercy, omnipotent power, faithful promises, special providence, and unchangeable love.”
Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus, the Judge, shall come,
And take His servants up
To their eternal home;
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice,-
The trump of God shall sound, REJOICE.