How Does One Find Joy In The Midst Of The Waves?

Rejoice (in the Lord) Always.

1 Thessalonians 5:16/Philippians 3:1

It's so easy to be happy when everything going right, but the Bible commands us to Rejoice Always. What does that really mean?

I find it interesting that when the Bible talks about joy or rejoicing it talks about trials and hardships as well. For example, when Paul wrote to the Philippines he was held captive! How does one even find uplifting words in such a situation? Paul wrote to them about joy, hope, and persevering. What motivation could He have found locked up in a cell?

Paul BELIEVED in God.

Paul believed in God. God, who is sovereign. God, who holds the whole world in His hands. God, who is in control. God, who loved Him. God, who redeemed Him. God, who had never failed Him. God, who believed in Him. God, who believes in you.

Paul TRUSTED in God.

God had never failed Paul. When Paul hit rock bottom and was at His darkest place God extended His hand out to Him and brought light into His life. God had every reason to give up on Him. I mean, Saul (Paul) persecuted His people! God had every right to smite (really couldn't think of any other word) Him. But, no, God showered Him with His Grace, Love, and Mercy. God never failed Him and He's never gonna fail you.

Paul HOPED in God.

Paul was willing to die for the sake of Christ. To Him, death was life. In Philippians, he expresses his dilema of wanting to die already and be with God versus wanting to live in order to be of encouragement to them. See, Paul's hope wasn't in this world; it was in God. That's why death didn't faze Him. That's why persecution didn't faze Him. That's why He wanted to just die. He wanted to start living! "For to him, to live was Christ and to die was gain" (Philippians 1:21). His hope, to be with God, was in Christ! He was willing to die for the sake of Christ because Christ was His hope. Christ is our hope.

Paul REJOICED ALWAYS in the Lord

Because Paul BELIEVED in God He was able to TRUST in Him. Because Paul TRUSTED in God He was able to HOPE in God. Because He BELIEVED, TRUSTED, and HOPED in Him He was able to "Rejoice in Him Always." Even when the waves were really crashing down on Him, because He knew that his sovereign Father was in control.

To Rejoice in the Lord does not mean that we deny our feelings, but that we rest in His care...

To Rejoice in the Lord is to Believe that He's in control...

To Rejoice in the Lord is to Trust in His faithfulness...

To Rejoice in the Lord is to Desire Him...

To Rejoice in the Lord is to Fall in Love with Him...

To Rejoice in the Lord is a decision to choose Christ over circumstances, people, decisions, feelings...

To Rejoice in the Lord is to choose Christ...

It's not a feeling, it's a choice. Paul chose to Rejoice. (Philippians 1:18) Paul chose Christ.

IN CHRIST FULLNESS OF JOY IS FOUND (Psalms 16:11). In Him you can always find a reason to smile.

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