“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4 NKJV
As believers, our source of joy is rooted in something far deeper than the circumstances of life. In our anchor text, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians– which he wrote from a prison cell– instructs us to rejoice. The man in Christ rejoices not as a feeling but as a response to what he knows to be true about him in God’s word.
Looking back on the experiences that 2023 brought – the losses, victories, tears, and celebrations – we recognize that each moment came together to form a mosaic wonder of the year. Think about this: when things get tough, can you still rejoice? It’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s worth thinking about as we head into the new year. It will help you be thankful and trust God more.
Paul encourages believers to rejoice not merely as a fleeting emotion but as a conscious response to the profound realities found in God’s promises, and James 1:23-24 likens hearing God’s word and not acting on it to forgetting one’s reflection after looking into a mirror. In this world filled with uncertainties, embracing a lifestyle of rejoicing is a testimony of our faith in Christ.
A well-known song talks about “joy in chaos and peace that makes no sense.” This joy is rooted in a life built on Jesus, who remains faithful amid life’s uncertainties. You were saved into a life of joy, and so now, rejoicing is something you do not as a response to circumstances, but because it is in your nature. Joy is a fruit of your born-again spirit.
Remember, you have God with you and for you, and that’s more important than anything else! Salvation not only gave you eternal life but also wove joy into the fabric of your being. Understanding your identity in Christ and the treasure you have in salvation (Matthew 13:44) would make rejoicing your default state, even when it doesn’t make sense to the natural man.
Ultimately, our purpose and the core of our existence here on earth is to know Jesus and make him known. Because you believe, you have eternal life (John 3:16), and you already have everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Your life isn’t just about the things you have (Luke 12:15). Salvation, the greatest necessity of mankind, is already yours. If God can give that freely, is there anything in your life He can’t handle? (Romans 8:32)
So, dear believer, as you look back on the year and might be tempted to feel down about things that didn’t go well, remember that where it really matters, you’re more than covered. Even amid setbacks, disappointments, or unanswered questions, the knowledge of our salvation in Christ remains a constant source of joy.
Rejoice always and in every circumstance!
Bible Reading Plan: Daniel 7-9