“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NLT
As believers in Jesus Christ we have a reason to rejoice in every moment of every day. We are saved from the eternal wrath of God in hell, we are assured of eternal life in heaven, we have His mercy and grace, and so much more. Although we deserve judgment because of sin, God has provided us with His great mercy. Mercy is defined as punishment withheld. Grace is defined as kindness imparted instead of punishment. God has mercifully and graciously given us His Son Jesus Christ. This is an eternal reason to rejoice. Where would we be without Christ? How could we face the tribulations of life without His hope? When we look beyond the life we now live, to the life we are destined for, we can joy in what awaits us and we can face the current circumstances of life with comfort, confidence, hope, and joy. Joy isn't happiness. Happiness is circumstantial. When things are good (we have good health, a good job, the bills paid, money to spend, etc.) we can be "happy". However, when the bills are more than the income, our health is challenged, the marriage is rocky, the job is uncertain, and we feel overwhelmed, it is most difficult to be "happy". Joy is the inner presence of God, by the Holy Spirit, that gives us assurance regardless of the circumstances (see Galatians 5:22). True joy is only experienced in a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Knowing Jesus brings reason to rejoice. If God is with you, for you, and in you, then rejoice!! Rejoice today and always!
Rev. Curtis Norris