Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
God used Paul, while he was in prison, to encourage others to rejoice.
Paul knew that whatever his outward position was, Christ was always with him.
His freedom was taken but nobody could take his joy.
Nobody can take your joy.
They can take anything else from you but Jesus Christ will always be with you.
Is it hard for you to be joyful?
Are you struggling with something that is taking your joy?
Try looking from a different perspective.
It’s definitely easier to rejoice when life is easier but we truly learn how to rejoice when going through difficult times.
See, Paul knew that no matter what he went through, he belonged to Christ.
Since he belonged to Christ, everything he did was an opportunity to honor Him.
He was storing up his treasures in heaven.
Everything we go through is an opportunity to glorify God.
Especially during the difficult times.
No matter what we go through, God is always with us.
He comforts us.
He build us up.
He strengthens us.
He conquers our enemies.
And through it all, we draw closer to Him and begin to understand how awesome He is.
That is why we rejoice!
As Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
How will you rejoice?
Lord, you are the only reason why we are able to rejoice.
We understand that there will be difficult times in our lives.
We also understand that we belong to you and know that you will never leave us.
We will rejoice in you always.
In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.