What mental pictures come to mind as you think of the word, “REJOICE!” ?
Do you see children jumping up and down gleefully on an early Christmas morning?
Is it something as simple as a puppy wagging it’s tail?
Is it the quiet smile of a mother or a young wife, with her heart beating rapidly, as she sees her son/husband coming home from the war after a long absence?
Is it the shouting from the rooftop because you were once lost and NOW you see? You have the secure hope of Eternity in Heaven forever and ever with the Savior!
Noah Webster’s Dictionary-1828 says this about “rejoice”: ~ “To experience joy and gladness in a high degree; to be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations; to exult. But, the primary sense is to shout, or to be so animated or excited.”
And, Strong’s Concordance – rejoice – #2744 – kauchaomai – to vaunt (in a good or a bad sense): – (make) boast, glory, joy, rejoice.
All the opening examples above of possible reasons to rejoice have their seedbed in what we would call good reasons to rejoice, wouldn’t you agree? James presents us with two different men, of two different positions in life, and still he says, “REJOICE!” Which one of these men are you? It really matters not. The message is the same for both men: REJOICE!!
James 1:9-10a says this: “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low:…”
Strong’s Concordance – “low degree” – #5011 – tapeinos – “humiliated in circumstances or disposition): base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.
As each you are reading this today, perhaps you have found that your circumstances have changed either for ‘better or worse’ than they were yesterday, or maybe a year ago, or a lifetime ago. If we were to be honest with ourselves…transparent…because in truth, to God, that is exactly how we appear…transparent…(see Psalm 139), what is our response to our present circumstance? As the world considers our circumstances good or bad, what does it matter? We are to REJOICE!
Verse 11 reminds us that this life is temporal: “For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.”
What, you say, is there to rejoice about? WHAT? As a believer we have everything to rejoice in:
You who are cast down today: “…Rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” ~ I Peter 4:13
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice, Philippians 4:4 reminds us.
Philippians is filled with of all kinds of REJOICING encouragements. Here’s another: v. 3:3b: “…and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Perhaps you might even consider taking the time to read through the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians in one sitting. Sit down with your heart and mind open to receive a mega dose of God’s plan of how to REJOICE! Knowing this: We “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth” us.
Turn your grief, your sorrow, your downcast countenance upside down, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” ~ Philippians 2:16
We have much to look upward and forward to, as we live here in expectation of His return and of having been true to Him and His Word. REJOICE!
“…REJOICE in the hope of the glory of God” Romans 5:2b
I’m getting all excited as I’m writing this…and if you are not beginning at least to feel lifted up from your circumstances, or further rejoicing if you were already rejoicing…then all I can direct you to do is to take out your Strong’s Concordance, look up the word, REJOICE, and go through the countless verses waiting there to be discovered by you in God’s Word. Pray first, and ask the Spirit to guide you through His Truth that you might REJOICE, as He has said.
Returning to James 1:12 – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.”
What a blessed hope! This alone should cause us to REJOICE!
James tells us “blessed”, that is, ‘happy’ is the man that “endureth“…
Strong’s Concordance – #5278 – hupomeno – the idea of ‘staying under’, i.e. remains; i.e. bears (trials), to have fortitude, perseveres: – abides, endures, patiently suffers”…
(the trial, the temptation) because having persevered and patiently endured it, he has the crown of life to look forward to. God has promised!
How’s our REJOICING today? Hopefully today, having come Beyond the Strait Gate, you will go on today and tomorrow and the next day, the next month and this year in the light of His Word, REJOICING evermore!
We may not rejoice perfectly every day with the things the Lord has placed before us, but we can, through the precious blood shed for us at Calvary, confess our sin and have the assurance of our sin has been forgiven if this be the case, and we miss the mark. Continue to persevere and do His good will. Our persevering, our enduring is a way we show God we love Him.
Thank you for visiting once again, Beyond the Strait Gate. The next time we meet we will continue with James and examine what my Bible subtitles the ‘Pedigree of Trials’. Hmm, perhaps you will look ahead and meditate on this before we meet again.
ALL SCRIPTURES are from the KJV of the Bible.