Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, “Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 KJV
This is a tall order if you don’t trust the Lord, and trust Him completely. In fact, my lack of rejoicing (and abundance of outright panicking) over certain moves God has made in my life revealed exactly how little I trusted Him. God set a really high bar for how we are to respond to the ebb and flow of life. It’s not enough to accept His move or to acknowledge His hand or to surrender to His sovereign purpose. No, we are to REJOICE in Him—always.
Rejoice in Defeat
The video that John included at the end of his post yesterday cracked me up, but it was also thought provoking. If I trust the Lord and truly believe that all things work together for good for those who love Him, then why am I shrieking in anger and frustration and fear when the path gets bumpy? To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship His ways and give Him my trust. It is at once incredibly intimate and a public display of loyalty. And it’s far rarer than it should be, as we can clearly see.
The entitlement on display in this nation is not limited to skittish unbelievers. I’ve been shocked by the wailing and whining and fearmongering peddled so shamelessly by self-professed Christians since the election. It would be repugnant enough coming from someone who doesn’t know Jesus. From someone who claims to belong to Him? It’s straight up blasphemy.
The Book of Revelation tells us how this world ends. And the build-up to the moment that all creation longs for – the return of Jesus Christ as King – is not pretty. It’s actually pretty ugly. We don’t rejoice in the horror itself; we rejoice in what the horror portends: our Bridegroom is on His way. In that sense, every disaster, whether personal, national, or global, is cause for rejoicing because we’re one day closer to the return of our King.
Rejoice and Declare Victory
It’s funny, but when I look at my life and this world through that lens, rejoicing in the Lord ALWAYS doesn’t seem strange. It seems absolutely appropriate. When I am battered by events and depressed by the news and angered by politics, I am a woman entangled with the world. That kind of response calls for the sword. This life is training for the next, a divine preparation for ruling and reigning with Christ Himself. Our work is to sever ourselves and be severed from the love of this world, not strengthen our ties to it. If I am invested in preserving or conserving my way of life, then I’m at odds with the Lord and His stated purpose.
To rejoice in all things is to worship the ways of God. It’s a way of experiencing the irrepressible heart of Jesus as He declares victory in some of the darkest places. It’s telling God, “I trust You.” And it’s a display of that love and trust to those around you. That’s the story I want my life to tell. Please, Jesus, make it so!