A simple commands, just two words but there are times in our lives when rejoicing feels impossible so why would God tell us to rejoice for evermore?
Because my Friend, although this is impossible in our own strength it is possible through Christ.
So does this mean we have to pretend to be happy when things are hard or to try rejoice when we lose someone we love? No!!
This rejoicing is a rejoicing that can happen alongside grief, it’s a joy that we can feel even as tears run like rivers down our cheeks!
Paul phrased it slightly differently here…
‘Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.’
Friends, our joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances, it’s in God. Circumstances change, but God never changes!!
Rejoice in that God knows, that God sees, that God hears, that God understands, that God has all your hard in His capable loving hands.
Some of you already know this but the Lord taught me this beautiful lesson through a little blackbird during one of the hardest years of my life.
I got up early one morning, while it was still dark, feeling exhausted both mentally and physically and with a very heavy heart due to circumstances but out in the garden a little blackbird sang beautifully!
Friends, that little bird sang because he knew morning was coming!
Then a few weeks later, still in the middle of this hard time, one evening as it was geting dark and raining hard and that little bird sang again!
Time after time through those long hard weeks I would hear or see a blackbird just when I most needed that reminder to rejoice.
Friends, that blackbird sang when it was dark, it sang in the rain and God taught me a beautiful lesson, He showed me that the joy of the Lord is indeed my strength, He showed me that even when you fear losing someone you love dearly there is joy to be found in Him. He showed me that praise brings perspective and joy brings peace!!
There is always joy to be found in the Lord, seek it until you find it!!!
Praise Him in the hard for He is worthy!
‘Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I WILL rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.’
‘This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’
1 Thess 5:16, Phil 4:4, Ps 118:24, Hab 3:17-19.