Do you have a song?
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His Name. 5 For The Lord is Good; His Mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100).
Given all the responsibilities we have, the deadlines we have to meet, and the expectations others have of us, it’s difficult to find something to rejoice in while juggling so much. They say it’s good to lighten up in the midst of hardships. Every dark cloud has a silver lining; as with every trouble we face, there’s always a flicker of hope. If we learn to turn our attention from all we are saddled with, and focus on the positive outcomes, we can still have joy in the midst of challenges. Circumstances are like shifting sands that can throw us into a roller-coaster of emotions. We need to find hope in what is steadfast and certain.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philipians 4).
People we rely on can sometimes come up short of our expectations. Always find joy in trusting The Lord, because in Him there’s hope. He is Faithful and His Love never fails. Rejoice in God always—in times of uncertainty, adversity and success. God is in control of every issue pertaining to our lives, just as He is controlling all of nature. If we have high expectations of God, we have reason to rejoice. We don’t have to see the outcome before we believe in God’s Character. Rejoicing is discovering hope in difficult circumstances. Rejoicing in God is finding God in the midst of our struggles and clinging to His Greatness.
Don’t be anxious but give God what you can’t handle, and exchange it for peace. The Lord is at hand—He is here to turn things around for our good. It may seem that a situation has made a turn for the worst. Don’t equate God with the intensity of your pain or hardships. Tune out the fear and doubt with gladness and expectation of what God will do. Let Christ guard your heart and mind, by accepting His Peace.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s Will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with The Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to The Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God The Father for everything, in The Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5).
Every moment is an opportunity to live wisely. As children of God we must be cognizant of God’s Will. We live in evil days when people are overcome with their lusts for pleasure and drunkenness. God’s Will for His children is that they abstain from activities that lead to sin. We must be diligent and wise, allowing The Holy Spirit to take control of our desires.
Rejoicing in The Lord from the heart and giving thanks to God our Father for everything, will make the heart merry. Fellowship with The Holy Spirit is delighting in His Presence. When we worship with others, singing to The Lord, we partake in a divine celebration of Almighty God. We can make God the source of joyous moments, not the fulfilling of our fleshly desires. We are unlikely to fall into sin when our rejoicing is motivated by our desire to honor Him.
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in The Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to The Lord, and who should praise the beauty of Holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise The Lord, For His Mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, The Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated (2 Chronicles 20).
Rejoice in the prospect of victory, by God’s Power. Unless we believe in all that God can do, we will not be able to praise Him before we see results. His Mercy endures forever to those who believe. We must be grounded on an imperturbable faith. God never fails and He never forsakes those who call upon Him in faith. Praise is an admittance to God’s favor.
King Jehoshaphat and the inhabitants of Jerusalem went out before the army that was set against them, armed with God’s praise. They didn’t have to shoot an arrow, because when they began to sing God began to fight for them. Consider praising God for Who He is as you go out to face battle. Rejoicing in Him will take your mind off your situation and your abilities. You will be established in Who He is and not how you feel. Give God praise, listen to those He sends to reassure you, and you shall prosper according to His Plan.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them. Let those also who love Your Name be joyful in You. 12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous, with favor You will surround him with a shield (Psalm 51).
High expectations give a semblance of hope. When we trust in God we suppress fear. Those who put their trust in God will find reason to rejoice in Him. They are eager to see what He will do. Rejoicing is like a pep talk before a challenge. There’s little to be bubbly about in our troubles, because of uncertainty. But we are in the most capable hands when we surrender to God’s Will. We encourage ourselves about God’s Greatness by going forward in His Name. He will defend those who trust in Him. His Name is Greater than any other force coming against us: In The Name of Jesus, The Living God, we are preserved from all adversity. He will surround those who have joy in Him with favor, as a shield. We should not forfeit experiencing His Greatness by keeping silent. Sure, the situations we face may be dire, but we have a safe haven—our hope and trust is His Name.
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified (1 Peter 4).
As beloved children of God we partake the likeness of The Son of God, who came in human form. Since He suffered we will also suffer. So we are to count it as a joyous privilege to suffer as He did—rejected, betrayed, criticized, persecuted, accused and despised. Instead of murmuring or blaming God, we should be glad that we have become one with The Son in our struggles. When others reject and ostracize us, we should appreciate that we are different. We have the seal of The Spirit of Glory and of God resting on us. He is glorified when we suffer for His Name. Be exceedingly glad that you have The Life of Christ exemplified by suffering. Willingly accept suffering as a partaker in Christ’s suffering.
Rejoicing is easy when everything is hunky-dory. Rejoicing in the midst of struggles and pain is no small feat. It requires we put aside fear and hopelessness by being excited about a promising outcome. As our situations change for the worst, we still have to hold on to a solid hope that is independent of our circumstances. By putting our trust in God we accept our ineptitude and weakness to handle what we are facing. Whether it is adversity or our adversaries, we can rejoice in God’s exceeding Greatness to overcome every challenge we face. We rejoice in a triumphant victory that exalts Him above everything else. Rejoicing in the midst of our suffering shows we have inner strength that can’t be trounced. We don’t need short-lived pleasures to give us hope; they wear off in a snap. But let all who trust in The Lord be invigorated in His Might.
We should not dwell on our past failures or past struggles. God is always doing something new that we don’t have to fathom, but look forward to. He creates opportunities where there seems to be nothing of value. In the most unseemly and unlikely place He prospers His chosen. His Name is at stake; so He preserves His people for His Glory. He will orchestrate His Goodness for those who He has chosen to use, to reveal Who He is. He has created them for His praise, because they rejoice in Him. They will not fail to declare His highest praise no matter what comes their way. Are you ordained to rejoice in The Lord?
18 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth: Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. 21 These people I have formed for Myself. They shall declare My praise (Isaiah 43).“