1 Peter 1:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Rejoicing is getting super excited about something. It is showing extreme joy about something. Although there is a lot of sadness and pain in the world, people still get excited about many different things and for many different reasons.
Couples that are getting married are usually rejoicing that they are getting married. Fans of sports are rejoicing and go crazy when their team is winning the championship. Workers are filled with joy when they are told they are getting a promotion and a large pay raise. Parents are excited about the birth of their first child and show off their baby to everyone. Grandparents show off pictures of grandchildren as they are rejoicing.
While the world can find reasons to rejoice in the temporary things, believers have even a greater reason to rejoice. Paul tells the Philippians to always rejoice. As he is stating this, he is sitting in prison for something that he did not do. His focus on rejoicing, however, was not on the temporary things of this world, but on the Lord, who is eternal.
Some will refuse to rejoice in the Lord, because of “bad” things that have occurred in their lives. They blame God for what has happened and cannot find any joy.
Yet, every believer has every reason to be joyful in the Lord. At a minimum, every believer has been for given of every sin and given eternal life. This alone should cause one to rejoice with extreme excitement. It should cause one to run out and tell everyone who he can about the great news. It is front page breaking news to share.
Yes, there will be times of trouble and pain, yet, that salvation is still there. God is on the side of the believer and holding him up. God is providing for his every need.
Find reasons to rejoice in the Lord today. Despite the troubles you have, count your blessings that God has given you. Be excited!
As you rejoice in the Lord, you will find strength to keep going forward and trusting God even more. It will put a bounce in your step and give a reason for others to want what you have. They will see that Jesus is real and is worth it all.
Today, as Paul said, rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice!
I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will find joy in knowing God; that you will be excited to talk about Jesus; and that you will find His joy in every situation in your life.
Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:19
Paul is rejoicing over the what he has heard about the Romans. They were being obedient to God’s word. They were striving to live Godly lives as Jesus did.
Even though they were being obedient, Paul added something to that. He wanted them to be wise about what is good and innocent of anything that is evil.
Being wise is having the correct information and knowing what to do with it. Many people can know a lot of information, but do not correctly use it. There have been people in the church who know the laws of God, but use those laws to condemn or cut down people, instead of pointing them to Jesus to save them.
Over the years there has been believers who were violent against non-believers and would kill them because of sin. This was not using any wisdom in how to reach the lost for Jesus.
Along with using good wisdom, Paul said that they must be innocent of evil. This can be innocent of doing evil and knowing what is evil.
The world thrives on seeing and doing evil. They cannot get enough of it. That is their nature, but Christians should be different.
There are some believers that tend to purposely live in some sin or they are constantly watching sin and enjoying it. Knowing the commands God has given is all that a person needs to know about sin. The less a person knows about sin, the less chances there are for him to be tempted to sin.
Filling oneself with evil things, only pushes God out of the picture and one’s life.
As a believer strive to keep yourself pure of any evil. This is pure in action, thought, word, and sight. And do not use your knowledge of good and evil to condemn or cut a person down. Show God’s love and mercy. Use good to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus and flee from all evil.
God can and will give you the wisdom you need to keep you pure and from all evil, if you allow Him to.
Living in this way will be true obedience to God’s word. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn the world.