By divine mandate, all believers must learn to rejoice in every kind of situation. Any negative or judgmental spirit reflects a low regard for the authority of the Scripture, casts suspicion on the character of God, and leads inevitably to sinful disobedience.
Paul faced many kinds of turmoil, frustration, and threats against him while “serving the Lord with all humility, and with many tears and trials which happened to [him] by the plotting of the Jews” (Acts 20:19). This is hardly the environment for rejoicing, yet this was precisely when his rejoicing could have a meaningful impact.
For example, Paul said the believer lives above his environment where a continual joy abounds, “sorrowful yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10).
Some of our calamities are caused by our own ignorance, stubbornness, pride, impatience, or impulsiveness, but some circumstances are beyond our control. However, for the Christian, a deep sense of confidence and victory is rooted in his bond to Jesus Christ, who conquered death and all the evils of this life. Nothing can ever change our relationship with the King of kings (Rom 8:28–-30): “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psa 16:11).
When the Philippian jailer believed in Christ, he did so with all his household: “He rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (Acts 16:34). His personal joy was magnified when all his family and servants heard the gospel and believed. This joy is not from this world but “through whom also we . . . rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:2)—-that is, when Christ will be revealed. I can’t wait!
Peter explained it best: “The genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—-the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:7–-9).
Literally, 1 Thessalonians reads, “At all times be constantly always rejoicing.” Whatever your situation, know that God is in control and His purpose for you is beyond your imagination. Rejoice in His promise.
“Dear Jesus, please cause my faith to continue to grow and give me the understanding I need to be able to rejoice in any circumstance You allow to come my way. May I not disparage Your character by becoming upset when things go ‘wrong.’”
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