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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Joy--Part 1

"Rejoice in the Lord always."
(Philippians 4:4)

We have recorded in these words of the Apostle Paul a most blessed and glorious truth which should greatly excite and warm the heart of every true believer. Writing from prison and facing possible martyrdom, the apostle Paul encourages the believers at Philippi to not only "rejoice in the Lord", but to "rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS."

That is, in every situation and circumstance of life; be it during very difficult and trying times, or when we are experiencing some of the greatest blessings in our life, regardless of our outward situation or circumstances, the believer is exhorted to maintain a spirit of rejoicing.

This does not mean that there is no place for sadness or sorrow of heart in this present life. For the Preacher declares in Ecc 3:4 that "there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance". Yet, for the true believer even such times of weeping and mourning are tempered by God's grace to increase and strengthen our "rejoicing in the Lord."

"Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."
(Ecc 7:3)

For the true believer, even sorrow is part of "all things working together for the good to them that love God", and in the hands of God's infinite mercy and grace, an important and vital ingredient for enriching our joy in the Lord.

Like the law, though it cannot bring salvation, yet like a schoolmaster, it leads us to Christ; so too, sorrow, though contrary to joy, leads the believer to know and realize wherein true joy and happiness lie!

Pastor Audey Shepard

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