When I was sitting at my computer to write my message for today, I waited for the words to start flowing which is what usually happens. I have the title of the message in my head all week which gives me time to reflect on what needs to be said. So then it is just a matter of sitting and typing and the message is done. However, it didn’t happen this week. The scripture from Philippians is short but powerful. The first line says Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice. But the words just didn’t flow. Sometimes that happens and one must just forge ahead. So let us go back to that first line; Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice. The definition of rejoice is to feel or show great joy or delight. We should be able to rejoice in the Lord always, right? For who gives us the ability to feel or show great joy or delight but God. God is there for us, no matter the situation, no matter what we are feeling, no matter what.
Then why is it sometimes a challenge for us to rejoice in the Lord. We let ourselves be overcome with whatever we are dealing with at the time, we let things that were said to take over our thoughts, and we just react to the situation at hand and forget that God is there with us no matter what. That is when we need to take a moment, step back, take a deep breath, and remember to rejoice in the Lord. We need to remember that those words in the scripture were written by Paul. Where was Paul when he wrote those words? He was imprisoned and yet once again, he was able to rejoice in the Lord, for he knew that God was with him, that God loved him and that God loves all of us. So we need to remember that in the words of a children’s message about this passage, that God is with us, so Rejoice, All the time, so Rejoice, when we are in worship, Rejoice, when we are at play, Rejoice, when we are happy, Rejoice, when we are worried, Rejoice, when we are at work, Rejoice, When we pray, Rejoice, When we tell the story, Rejoice, when we are lost, Rejoice, We know God is with us, Rejoice, all of the time, Rejoice, We know God loves us, Rejoice, all of the time. REJOICE!
Maybe if we make more of a conscious effort to remember that God is always with us, then we can rejoice no matter what is going on.
Another part of the scripture says to not worry about anything for God is there. We need to pray with thanksgiving and let our requests be known to God. Prayer is another thing like rejoicing that sometimes goes by the wayside during our daily lives. If it does, then we are back to where we were before we remembered to rejoice. One doesn’t have to be on their knees in church or at home to pray to God. If God is everywhere with us, then in a short moment we can say to God to help us, to guide us, whatever it is that we need to share with Him. I have heard from people that they talk with or pray to God while they are driving back and forth to work, when they are in the shower. Anytime is a good time to say a few words to God. Then we remember that God is there for us and we can rejoice that He is there with us.
I added the scripture from Zephaniah because I thought it just emphasized what is spoken in Philippians even though it was written before Philippians was written. At first, I didn’t see where Zephaniah was in the Bible. Then when I was looking for scripture verses about rejoicing Zephaniah was one that was listed. So I found it in my Bible, it is one of the last books in the Old Testament of the Bible. The verses that spoke to me the most were the ones that said; “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.” Those words remind us that God is rejoicing over us with gladness, He will renew us in his love. What greater reason is there then to rejoice in the Lord, for He is rejoicing over us, each one of us?
So as we get closer to the day when we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let us rejoice in his birth. For of this child, great things will happen and we are the ones who are blessed that those great things did happen and continue to happen. As you go about your week, busy that it will be for we are getting closer to Christmas each week, take a moment to pray and to rejoice, remembering the reason for the season.