“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Always is a big word. One way to look at this verse is with suspicion. Those with the proverbial “half-empty” mindset will say that Paul doesn’t really know what he’s talking about and that it’s not really possible to be joyful always. These will point out all the problems of this world and identify the challenge of this verse, and that most of us will never live up to its standard. They’re probably right. The standard of the Law of God is always too high for us to reach. You won’t be joyful always. You’re a sinner. You will curse and complain and commiserate with the curmudgeons.
There is another way to hear this verse and live it out joyfully in your life.
Always is a big word. The other way to look at this verse is with wonder. Those with the proverbial “half-full” mindset will say that Paul has an important perspective for us, and he really knows the power of God which can bring joy to each and every situation. These will point out all of the problems in this world and identify that none of these are strong enough to damper the joy of living as God’s child, and that most of us could use to experience that joy more often. They’re definitely right. The Gospel of God is impervious to the problems of this world! There is always joy in spite of the sinful condition of this world. You can exude exuberant exclamations of excitement at all times and in all places.
One perspective looks at Joy as a demand from God that we’re supposed to attain. The other sees Joy as the gift of God given to those He loves. When the Gospel is lived out we realize that there is ALWAYS room for JOY!
Dear Jesus, Thank you for your gift of JOY. Fill my days with Joy in you. Amen.