“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice”–Phil. 4:4
Here is a divine imperative, and it is a present one— meaning that it is to be ongoing, a lifestyle of joy, constant. It is a responsibility, an obligation regardless of circumstances. Joy is a duty— a delightful one. It is a mystery that we could fail in discharging a duty such as this, but we do. There are far too many sad saints.
As Christians we have no excuse for lacking joy. The apostles “departed from the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name”(Acts 5:41). How can we, who live in the lap of luxury, dare do any less? We not only have a responsibility to “rejoice in the Lord” we have numerous reasons to do so. The blessings of the Lord are more than we can number, which should cause us to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”(1 Pet. 1:8).
Start your day by counting your blessings rejoice and you’ll be able to stand against whatever you are forced to face. That’s not only pleasurable, it is profitable. If “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10), and it is, he who loses his joy is in great peril. Your ability to resist temptation, overcome trials, and witness effectively is lost when joy is absent. You become puny rather than strong.
If that describes you repentance is in order. As a child of God you have the choice to rejoice. However, the choice is not a matter of just deciding to rejoice, but rather to surrender. When you yield yourself to the control of the Holy Spirit the fruit of the Spirit, of which joy is a part, flourishes in your life. So, joy is more than a matter of choosing to feel a certain way, it is a matter of obedience. Repentance results in rejoicing.
After repenting of his sin, David prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation- – “(Ps. 51:12), and that’s exactly what every joyless Christian ought to do. The absence of joy is a sure fire indication that something is wrong in a person’s life. You can ignore it and go on in your misery, or you can pretend all is well, or you can actually deal with the problem and be enjoy life. The most miserable person on earth is a child of God out of the will of God, and the only road to rejoicing is repentance. You either repent or you rebel. It’s your choice!