A Joyful Heart in a Hurting World

I know what the Bible says about the end times and I have no doubt in my mind that we’re living in it! Paul wrote a vivid description of our society in his last letter to Timothy. And just in case Paul didn’t describe it well enough, he tells his son in the faith that things will “wax worse and worse.” It’s like saying, “It’s gonna be bad. How bad? The sky’s the limit!”

In the age of religious tolerance, there has come an intense intolerance of biblical Christianity. I suppose it’s because our belief isn’t really a religion but a relationship with the only wise Saviour and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan and this world can quickly sap the joy out of our lives. It’s extremely easy to be discouraged and depressed by all that we face today.

But that’s not the way God wants it to be! He doesn’t intend for you to wallow in self-pity and deny His goodness. He wants you and me to be filled with joy regardless of the circumstances and challenges we face.

While in prison, Paul wrote these words,

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Really, Paul? Even in prison? Even after all the persecutions and famines, and beatings, and perils? Even with your constant thorn in the flesh? Really, Paul? Rejoice?

Yes, my friend. Rejoice. Notice why we should be joyful according to this simple but very powerful verse.

The Command to Rejoice

Our powerful God commands us to through the holy, inspired, words of the Apostle Paul to rejoice. It doesn’t matter how you want to interpret it, it says rejoice. The word rejoice means, “to feel or express great joy or happiness.”

I know that when we look at what’s happening around us, it’s easy to lose our joy. But Paul covered that in the very same verse because he wrote  about…

The Center of Our Rejoicing

Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord…” Joy isn’t found in the happenings that surround our lives. It isn’t found in the successes of our families, ministries, or businesses. It is in the Lord Himself.

I find it interesting that the origin of the word “rejoice” (c. 1300) according to the Etymology Dictionary means “to enjoy the possession of.” Why can we rejoice? Because I am God’s, and God is mine! As the song goes, “I belong to the King, I’m a child of His love.”

And because God’s love is eternal, Paul can speak on…

The Continuity of Our Rejoicing

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Because God’s love never fails and never ends, neither should our joy.

I love what Malachi 3:6 says about the Lord, “I am the LORD, I change not;” The writer of Hebrews reiterates this truth when he wrote, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever.”

You and I can rejoice always because the God Whom we possess and possesses us does not and will not change! Amen!

What’s draining your joy today? Worries? Changes? The unknowns? Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy! It’s God’s gift to you. It’s your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Someone once said, “Joy starts with a smile.” Though it sounds good, I would have to disagree. Joy starts with remembering God. Remembering what He said, what He’s done, and what He continues to do. That should trigger a smile that will lead to a joyful heart.

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