Usually a word reserved for the Christmas season, right?  Yet, I want to ask you to ponder with me how this is a spiritual discipline that is to be daily (rejoice always? 1 Thessalonians 5 and Philippians 4), and is something we can pursue despite circumstances to the contrary, and must pursue to battle against pride creeping in during the good times. 

Let’s begin with the call to rejoice as David instituted a new era in Israel’s worship practices:

 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

1 Chronicles 16:8-10 

Let your heart rejoice…do not hold back.  Rejoice at all times, but not because of the times.  Here and now, consider, how does the incarnation change everything?  How does knowing of the Spirit’s work in you change everything?  How does the nearness of the Trinity, abiding in you as you abide in God, change everything?  

How do we glory in His holy name?  (See here.)  And will this glorying help me in “letting my heart rejoice?”  Yes, beloved; as I glory in His name I will cease striving, I will remember His power, His compassion, His faithfulness, His works and His promises…

Did He promise hard times?  Yet He is with you, and is simultaneously preparing a place for you!  Ahhh, let your heart rejoice.

Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven

The Scriptures have much to say about rejoicing, we cannot focus on it all at once, so for the remainder of this post, think with me through Luke 10:17-24.  

The seventy who were sent out to do ministry similar to Jesus’, in His power, even performing miracles, came back rejoicing.  Their words were all about what they did.  They rejoiced that demons were subject to them.  They were on the verge of glorying in their own power.   Jesus gently corrects them with a “do not rejoice in that” but instead “rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”  

That our names are recorded should be a regular contemplation.  “But by the grace of God go I!”  And “wow, me the chief of sinners, yet He loves me, and died for me!”  And “ahhh, how sweet His promises in John 14-17; that He is preparing a place for me, and desires for me to be with Him!  How I long to be with Him where He is!”  etc.

What security does this bring to you?  This contemplation will push pride out of your heart, as gratitude and joy bubble up and fill your heart.

“At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit and said “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth…”  Do not let this description of the Trinity pass you by, stop and ponder.  Write it in your journal, come back to it, and let Him teach you more of this beautiful mystery.  Jesus too rejoices that our names are recorded in heaven.  This is your Brother, your best Friend, your Bridegroom, your Redeemer, the Lion of Judah, rejoicing over you, over me, over all who are His!

How to Rejoice?

There is no formula, beloved, only examples and guidelines.

In your heart, yes; this is where so much of the “rejoice always” comes in.  As you grow in your prayer life, you will live “Coram Deo,” abiding in Him, and instead of merely thinking all day, or using aimless ‘self talk’ you talk with God.  And in that talking, there is time for rejoicing.

With your mouth.  It ought to be common that we Christians can rejoice together. Verbally.  We rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15), and we do so with words, and in good friendships even hugs or high fives or other such physical means of expressing what is dancing around in our hearts.  

We share words.  We delight to proclaim His excellencies out loud!  In conversation, in times of corporate fellowship, in MarcoPolo messages or Voxer or texts… Consider what happens in God’s people when we keep silent instead–it becomes like a burning fire within, if the LORD has spoken or acted, we must tell of it, it is part of our role in this Kingdom of priests He has called us into (Jeremiah 20:9; Amos 3:8; Revelation 1:5-6; Acts 2:14-18).  Male or female, the Spirit will lead us in this!  

Rejoicing and Fortitude

Fortitude, perseverance:  both a work of the Holy Spirit in us, and something we are actively called to obey.  He is our strength, He will strengthen us for the attaining of all steadfastness, drawing us further into the love of God and steadfastness of Christ.  And in this way, we have faith that overcomes.  Rejoicing does something in hardwiring our brains, enabling us to quickly remember and live in all that we have declared.

As we rejoice, and persevere, we overcome!  “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they loved not their life unto death.”  (Revelation 12:11)  

Be faithful in utterance.

Let the rejoicing not be hidden, but natural, and overflowing.  Something to grow in, to let yourself do.  It may be quiet and reserved, it may be full of song and dance–but a heart rejoicing is focused on God–believing His steadfast love and mercies, believing His promises, trusting His power, knowing He keeps me! Honor God with your words, as you rejoice.

How can you work through the fears and obstacles that hold you back from rejoicing?  What practices can you pursue that will build you up in faith, knowledge, and utterance; that you may abound in these?  How can you overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony? 

When is the last time you sat down and contemplated what “the word of your testimony” is?  This will surely lead you to rejoice in the fact that your name is written in His book, the Lamb’s Book of Life!  

Image by Nathan McBride on Unsplash.

3 thoughts on “Rejoicing”

  1. Though it’s good to rejoice in God’s gifts, it’s vital to rejoice in Him for who He is. The more we get to know Him, the more we keep our eyes on Him, the more we overflow with rejoicing.

  2. Hallelujah! This post made me want to rejoice! 💃😀 I’m just so thankful that I know the Lord, and glad that, no matter what happens, He’s always by my side.

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