>Rejoice in the Lord, always,
Again, I say rejoice,
Rejoice in the Lord, always,
Again, I say rejoice,
Rejoice, rejoice, again I say rejoice.
Rejoice, rejoice, again I say rejoice…
(repeat 3 times…)
We used to sing this song in grammar school, we sang it in rounds. It really was quite beautiful while we were singing it. I woke up with this song in my head this morning. I haven’t been able to shake it out, not that I really want to. This song holds fond memories for me.
So what does it mean to rejoice?
Webster’s dictionary definition: 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : DELIGHT. Hebrew dictionary definition: 8057. simchah, sim-khaw’; from H8056 blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):– X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing). (Found 88 times in the Old Testament, in 22 books)
Greek dictionary definition: 5479. chara, khar-ah’; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous). (Found 57 times in the New Testament, in 18 books)
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (hmmm, sounds familiar!)
Proverb 12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.”
Proverb 21:15 “It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”
Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
1 John 1:4 “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Psalm 149:5 “Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.”
Proverb 23:25 “Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.”
Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
2 Corinthians 7:4 “Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
Proverb 5:18 “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.”
Proverb 24:17 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;”
Proverb 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”
1 Corinthians 13:6 “(Love) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”
1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always.”
Rejoice always. That is a difficult command to follow when your heart is heavy and it seems as if all the joy has been sucked out of your world. There is only one way to accomplish that: lean heavily upon the Lord. Depend on Him for your joy. He will give you the strength to rejoice when your world seems to be falling apart. He will show you the areas of your life where you have cause for celebration. He will comfort you when you are sad or in pain. And of course, remember this last scripture verse: James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverence. Perseverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God must really be working on me, I must have much to learn. The trials seem to never end.