I know last week I said we’d talk about mourning this week, but I made the executive decision to go from hating well to rejoicing well. Little more of a better fit. So without further ado:
What do you rejoice in? At the end of the day, what allows you to sleep peacefully (that is, if you sleep peacefully)?
If you’re a believer, do you rejoice in Christ, in all that He is for you and all that you are in Him? Do we rejoice at all?
Rejoicing is commanded in Scripture: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice,” says Paul in Philippians 4:4. Paul is in prison, persecuted for sharing the gospel, but he is able to remind the church to rejoice!
How? Because Paul rejoices, not in earthly circumstances, but in Christ. He knows that he belongs to the Lord of the universe and that he has salvation in Him, therefore, no earthly trouble will kill his love and devotion and joy for God.
Christian, you have, in Christ, an eternal reason to rejoice: You are His. Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus. Romans 8:17 tells us that our suffering in Christ proves that we belong to Christ and have a great inheritance in Him. John 1:12 tells us that if we have received Christ, we are children of God.
So if you don’t have anything to be thankful for this side of heaven, rejoice in what you already have on the other side! It is not some boyish fantasy, it is a blood-bought promise for everyone who has Christ as Savior and Lord.
While we should certainly thank God for all that we have in this life, God’s common grace should drive us to be thankful for saving grace and that a holy God would choose to call us His and make us new in Christ.
So rejoice well, brothers and sisters, no matter what is going on around you. We have much, in Christ, to be thankful for. Even in our continued struggle with sin, we have the promise that we will one day be like Jesus (Phil. 1:6), and the promise that God forgives us as we trust Christ (1 Jn. 1:9). We have hope in the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). In the troubles of this life, we know God sanctifies through suffering (James 1:2-4).
May you grant us the grace to rejoice in Christ, Father. May we not fail to remember all that you have done, are doing and will do in our lives. May we, in our weakness and sin, run to Christ in faith, believing that He is a sufficient and gracious Savior, and hold fast to Him. May you finish what you started and allow us to rejoice along the way.