Lately I have noticed the word rejoice quite often as I study the Bible, read Christian books, and peruse devotionals. I am amazed at the frequency by which you see joy and rejoice in the Bible. Rejoice by definition means to be glad; to take delight in, and the illustration often following is to rejoice in another’s happiness. Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; it is keen pleasure; elation; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.
When I consider this word and all it means, I realize that the world has another take on this. One example I’ve noted is that of rejoicing in the bad things that happen to people you do not agree with. Rejoice in the “gotcha” stories on the news, glory in someone else’s misfortune.
What does the Bible say about rejoicing? I want to be very clear about where my joy should come from. I want to know how I can rejoice when there is so much evil in this world. Why should I be joyful in today’s environment?
Most of our misinformation about rejoicing seems to come from the news, so I thought it would be fun to look at the Bible’s instructions on rejoicing from the perspective of a reporter. Reporters ask the questions who, when, where, how much, and why. As I considered these questions, I embarked on a fun adventure to see what God in His Word says about rejoicing.
Rejoice in the Lord.
Philippians 4:4 -“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, Rejoice!”
Habakkuk 3:18 – “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Psalm 64:10 – “Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him! Let all the upright in heart exult!”
“Rejoice in the Lord means we rejoice in our unassailable, unchanging relationship with the sovereign Lord and in His qualities, gifts, promises, and attributes” (Robert Morgan, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know).
1 Peter 1:8-9 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Luke 1:47 – “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
Always. In all circumstances. Every day.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day that the Lord Has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Romans 12:15 – “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
James 1:2 – “Count it all a joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
In heaven: Luke 15:10 – “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
In your home: Deuteronomy 12:7 – “There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you.”
Everywhere: Psalm 89:16 – “Rejoice in His name all day long.”
Zechariah 9:9 – “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Romans 5:1-2 – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (NKJV).
Psalm 66:1 – “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth!”
Psalm 100:1-5 – “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he, who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name
.Forthe Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
As I reviewed the many verses on rejoicing, I realized that the Bible was full of instructions on this topic. I could just hand you the Psalms or any book in the Bible and you would be encouraged. David Jeremiah explains that in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle Paul says there are three things we can do simultaneously since they support one another—rejoice, pray, and give thanks. The prayerful practice of joy and thanksgiving leaves no room for stress or worry. At the first sign of stress, pray and give thanks to God for the joy that comes from trusting Him in all things. Not for all things, but in all things.
Look again at this verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Keep your focus on rejoicing in the Lord and trusting Him with every detail of your life. Take all your problems to Him and give thanks for all your blessings and you will enjoy His peace. The peace that is beyond understanding to the world. The peace that is the exact polar opposite of that which is often presented by the news.
This is my memory verse for this month. Join me in memorizing these vital instructions.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds though Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV).
Dear Holy Father I rejoice in you. I will not be anxious, upset, or distraught because you are Almighty God. You are near to me. I will turn to you in prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving knowing you are my loving Father. I am full of your peace, the peace that the world does not understand.
I praise you and rejoice in you, Lord God, in Jesus’ Holy Name,Amen.