Friday November 4, 2022
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
It is as though Paul cannot find words that are strong enough to express to his friends this admonition to rejoice. He mentions his own joy several times in this letter.
This is indeed strange. For he was in prison when he wrote the letter. And he says himself that he does not know as yet whether his case will result in his release from prison or in his execution.
Many think that it is impossible for a Christian to be happy at all times and cite many good reasons in proof of their contention.
But it says nevertheless: Rejoice in the Lord always!
True, it says: “Rejoice in the Lord. And that is the solution of the problem. As long as I seek to find something in myself as a cause for rejoicing, it will of course be impossible to rejoice always. But as soon as I have learned to rejoice in the Lord I have found a source of joy which is equally rich with each passing day.
The apostle knows full well that there is not only joy in the heart of a child of God. He says that a child of God may be both happy and sad at the same time: “As sorrowing, yet always rejoicing.”
Yes, the remarkable thing about the children of God is this very thing that they have a sorrow on account of themselves of which they can never rid themselves here below. But they have at the same time a joy in the Lord which does not cease as long as they continue to be sorry for sin.
Even more remarkable is this, that this joy and this sorrow fructify each other.
The more I see and regret my selfishness, my coldness, my worldliness, and my indifference, the more closely will I cling to the cross and the Crucified One.
And the more my heart is permitted to look into the mystery of grace, the greater and the more profound becomes my sorrow at grieving my Savior.