Rejoice in the Lord always

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True joy is a precious gift. True joy comes with faith. Are there actually therefore people who imagine that faith in Jesus is a hindrance to joy, something to be avoided? Some say that there are such people. But I can assure you that faith does not prevent joy, but rather produces it. The Apostle urges us: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4).

The world offers many different types of joy; some of it is harmless, some harmful. Faith in Jesus brings genuine joy, which the Holy Spirit creates in the heart. Would you not rejoice upon hearing that someone had gone to your bank and paid your debt in full? Why then would you not rejoice upon hearing that Jesus has paid your entire debt of sin in your behalf? Everything that disturbs you, causes you shame and troubles your conscience, all this God has forgiven for the sake of Jesus. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Ps. 103:12). Rejoicing for this reason is rejoicing in the Lord. If we believe that our sins have been forgiven, we do not have to pretend to be happy. We can also rejoice freely, each one according to his nature: The quiet person in the secret chambers of his heart; the more exuberant nature, in a manner that everyone can see.

In addition to finding joy in spiritual blessings, we may also find joy in everything that God has created for our use. God, of course, does not approve of the wrong use of His gifts. "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude, for it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:4,5).

May this be the attitude of our hearts: "Do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Eph. 5:3,4; Phil. 4:8).