Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Psalm 9:14
I will rejoice in Your salvation.

The book of Philippians is one of my favorite books. It is often called "The Epistle of Joy." I like Philippians because it has such an upbeat message from Paul, and yet many times he talks about his own suffering. In Philippians 4:4 Paul wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" It is kind of a double command. He was saying, "Rejoice! I'm telling you, rejoice!"

Now we find in the chapters right before that, chapters two and three, Paul wrote about how the Lord had given him joy even though there had been so much suffering in his life. And as he served the Lord, Paul found a great deal of joy. Sometimes it is really easy for us to rejoice and to fulfill Paul's command. Sure, everything's going right - kids are well, money is there, car is running, I have even managed to lose five pounds. At those times everything looks really good to us.

But there are some times when it is not so easy to rejoice. Maybe there has just been a string of events that seem to weigh us down and make us feel defeated. Maybe the car is not running. And instead of losing five pounds, maybe I have gained five pounds. It does not matter what is happening in our lives, circumstances can get us down if we let them.

But you know, back in the Psalms, David had found the secret to learning to rejoice. No matter what is happening, our joy does not really depend on our circumstances. Instead, it depends on what is down in our heart. Our joy will be determined in knowing Jesus, and that is really what David wrote about in Psalm 9:14. In this Psalm he talks about some real troubles that Israel had, but he says in verse fourteen, "I will rejoice in Your salvation." Even though Israel had been through all kinds of turmoil and trouble, there was still something to rejoice in, and that was that the Lord was her salvation.

For you and for me as believers, we have much to rejoice in when we think of our salvation. Not only salvation from the penalty of our sin, which would be eternal punishment, but also from the power of sin that God gives us in day to day living. Think about the blessings God has given you as your Savior: strength, supply of needs, grace, mercy, peace, on and on. Think about those things and you will do as Paul said - rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!

By Dr. Ann Shorb

Find out more about Christian counseling.

Related Articles and Devotionals:
Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow
Rejoicing in God's Promises
He is the Risen Christ Who Know Us by Name

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