As I conclude, this series of posts based on a sermon about joy, we ask what are our reasons to rejoice? This is other than of course the most important reason, that we have been saved, and our glorious God has done so much for us! But at times we all need a gentle prod, so here some good reasons:
1. Joy is commanded
Deuteronomy 12:18 says: ‘You shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings’. Psalm 35:27 says: ‘Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say forevermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of His servant”.’ God also warns serious consequences if his people will not rejoice and tells the Israelites that if they do not serve him as he ordains they will be told “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you…(Dueteronomy 28:47)”
God’s command to rejoice is a serious command. God is urging you, He is commanding you, to be serious in your pursuit of joy, not to be satisfied with the small tastes of joy that you have so far experienced. He is urging all of us not to sell Jesus short, not to be satisfied, but to press in for all that Jesus has for us.
2 Joy brings hope
Joy gives hope. Romans 12:12 says: ‘Rejoice in hope…’ I have to say, hope and joy go together like despair and sadness. As we rejoice, we will find hope stirred in our hearts. There is so much to say about hope, but that would require another series!
3 Joy gives strength
Finally, joy gives us strength to face life with all its challenges. Nehemiah 8:10: ‘The joy of the LORD is your strength’. This term, make it your resolution that the joy of the Lord will be your strength. Whatever this term may throw at you, let the joy of the Lord be your strength. No wonder that Paul said in Philippians 4:4: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice’.