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10/19 Reading Portions: 1 Kings 22; 1 Thessalonians 5; Daniel 4; Psalms 108-109
1 Thessalonians 5:16
Does this mean a Christian will constantly be joyful? There are some people who believe this. I have actually heard some young pastor preach this. It sounds wonderful… and we should be full of joy and rejoice evermore; nevertheless, it just isn’t possible to rejoice every single moment of every single day— at least, not until the Lord returns and this corruptible puts on incorruption. Moreover, there are times, many times in our lives, when rejoicing must give place to godly sorrow which works repentance unto salvation (2 Cor 7:10). The Holy Spirit tells us through the apostle that, in order to humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to God, we must be…
afflicted, and mourn, and weep: [to] let [our] laughter be turned to mourning, and [our] joy to heaviness. Jamess 4:9, KJV
As you can see, if this verse meant what some people think, we would be discouraged each time we failed to be joyful; or worse, be dejected and possibly conclude we have lost our salvation. Okay, then, what does it mean to rejoice always or evermore?
This is a command; and it was only truly fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. When we see the command, it is a reminder of His fulfillment of every command. Jesus was not only the Man of sorrows (Isa 53:3-4), but He was also anointed with the oil of gladness above all others (Psa 45:7). In the depths of His greatest grief and agony, when He suffered God’s wrath upon the cross, He rejoiced in the justice, truth, grace, and mercy of the heavenly Father. He must; otherwise, He never would have, or could have, commended His spirit into the Father’s hand (Luke 23:46).
For us, rejoicing always is an eternal truth for God’s people. It springs forth from life’s everlasting well within the soul, rejoicing in all that is Christ and all that belongs to Christ— regardless of the circumstance— for it is eternal, and it is in Christ.
Rejoicing always comes to us
As we are in the Lord;
It’s gripped by grace and instills trust
For praise with one accord.
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