Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Philippians 4:4 NIV
We live in troubled times. A pandemic is raging around the world. Many countries are rattling their swords. Others are experiencing civil war. Terrorism has developed a global reach. And here in the U.S., we are a deeply divided nation and becoming increasingly more godless.
But, in spite of the doom and gloom that is all over the news, and sometimes in our own communities and homes, we are told to rejoice. You may initially recoil from the idea of always rejoicing, especially in the midst of so little to rejoice about. Sorrowful mourning might be a more appropriate sentiment for the times we live in.
But that would be a misunderstanding of what Paul is saying here. Our rejoicing is not because of anything that is happening around us. Instead, we are to rejoice in the Lord. We can rejoice because of who we are in Christ. Because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And because of the hope we have in Christ. The world around us may be in chaos. But in the kingdom of God, there is peace and security. Regardless of what may happen to us in this world, we can rejoice knowing that God will keep us. And will safely bring us to himself in the end (2 Tim. 1:12).
Paul stresses the importance of rejoicing in the Lord by saying it, not once, or even twice, but three times. In Philippians 3:1, he gives that instruction for the first time. And then repeats it twice for us here. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, rejoice in the Lord. No matter how awful the world around you seems, rejoice in the Lord. Always rejoice in him.