Rejoice in the Lord

Rejoice in the Lord
September 3, 2023
Passage: Psalm 118:22-24
Service Type:

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say, rejoice." So good to be here and to see each one of you here this morning. Christians really ought to be the happiest people on the face of the earth. We're given the command to rejoice in the Lord always. 

You think about the situations in which we're told to rejoice

 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations." — James 1:2

He's talking about the trials and difficulties of life. He says, find joy in even suffering, even in difficulties because it's there. The emotionally balanced person that God wants us to be, we ought to be filled with joy. We ought to be happy and of all people on the face of the earth, we ought to be the happiest. 

  • Psalms 144:15

If you go into the context of Psalms 144, he talks about how God has delivered the people, how God has protected His people, and how God has been their strength and their comfort. And he says, happy is that people whose God is the Lord

Though we're about 3,000 years removed from the time that David wrote this, we should still be happy people. We should still be among the happiest people on earth. 

Reasons to Rejoice

 Do we disciples of Jesus Christ not have a reason to be happy?

Some supposed believers walk around like they were raised on a sour pickle. They've got that downturned expression. They can't seem to find anything good around them. They always have something to complain about. They always talk about the burdens that they've been saddled with. It makes you wonder if they're really even happy at all. Do they really have a hope laid up for them in heaven if they walk around as if the world is a terrible place?

Certainly, there are difficulties in this world. James knew that his readers were going to face difficulties, but he commanded them to count it all joy anyway. The heart of the Christian ought to be the happiest place on earth, and God's people should be the happiest people on earth. 

1) Rejoice in God's Mercy

  • Psalm 31:7

Mercy Brings about the Possibility of Salvation

Because of God's mercy, we ought to have a reason to rejoice. Many years from the time he wrote this, the child of God today still has a reason to be happy for the same reason. God is a merciful God. He's still the same merciful God that he was then. 

Without Mercy, Man would be Lost in Sin

We who are recipients of mercy, man is lost in sin, but because of the mercy of God, we're not struck down in our sin. The moment we sin, God is merciful. God is long-suffering to us. He loves us and provides a way of salvation. Without that mercy, where would we be?

2) Rejoice in Christ's Exaltation

Christians should be the happiest people on earth also because of Christ's exaltation.

  • Psalm 118:22-24

Because of His Rejection, All People Can Rejoice in Slavation

The psalmist wrote prophetically of the day when "the stone which the builders rejected would become the chief cornerstone." He went on to say that it was the Lord's doing and that it would be marvelous in our eyes." pointing to that day. 

He further said, beginning in verse 22, "The stone which the builders refused has become the headstone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." 

The day he's talking about is the day in which we live now. In the time in which Christ brought His church into the world, during this time, this is the day, the last days, the last dispensation of time before the Lord comes again. He says, "This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will be glad and rejoice in it." (vs. 24). He wrote this about 1,000 years before Christ established the church. Why can't we live up to it? [Why can't ] those of us who lived 2,000 years after the event, still be glad when we consider that day? 

 Jesus referred to Himself as He cited this passage, and also, the apostles did the same thing when they were questioned about the man whom they healed in Jerusalem

  • Acts 4:10-12
  • 1 Peter 2:4-7

The rejection or the stumbling by the Jewish nation allowed us, who are Gentiles, an opportunity for salvation that was not previously offered. 

  • Romans 11:11

3) Rejoice in Persecution

Another reason we ought to be happy, another reason we ought to rejoice, is in times of persecution. I'm pretty sure not many people comprehend the admonition to rejoice in persecution. But it's there nevertheless. 

Many will say, well, how can I rejoice in this? How can I find happiness or joy in being persecuted? 

  • Matthew 5:10-12
  • James 1:2 
  • Luke 6:23

The Idea of Rejoicing in Persecution

You know, the cause for rejoicing is not in the persecution itself, but in the fact that we have a great reward laid up for us in Heaven. Peter would further, uh, give reason for rejoicing.

  •  1 Peter 4:12-13

The Focus of a Great Reward in Heaven

On their part, He is evil spoken of, but on your part, He is glorified. We have a great reward laid up for us in Heaven. That ought to be enough reason for us to be happy and to rejoice, to find joy, even in times of trial and tribulation and persecution.

4) We Should Rejoice in God's Word

Unfortunately, when some people look at God's Word in the Bible it's a great cause for sorrow to them instead of joy. Many see the Word of God as the big book of rules, or a list of thou shalt nots and it's boring to many people. It's been seen by some as outdated, and restrictive, and is unwelcome in the lives of many who do not want to take the time to see what it actually says. If only they would dig a little deeper and search a little more, they would see why it is a cause of rejoicing to any who read it.

God's Word as a Source of Joy

The root of the entirety of Psalm 119 praises and extols the virtue and the value of God's Word. 

  • Psalm 119:162
  • Psalm 119:14

To the psalmist, looking into the Word of God was like finding a great treasure. The things contained within His Word made the psalmist happy, made him as happy as if he had found the mother load of gold or silver or some precious metal or jewel. Evidently, he saw something within the Word of God that he found to be valuable, not as something burdensome or dreary.

The Value of God's Word and its Spiritual Blessings

What did he see that made him so happy? There's a lot you can look at, in the Word of God, that would make you happy. For us, it might be the knowledge that God loved us enough to send His Son to die for us.

  • Romans 5:8
  • Acts 10:43
  • 1 Peter 4:3-4
  • Revelation 21:1, 22
  • Revelation 22:1-5

We look at the description of that city: in which we find the throne of God, in which there is no night, in which God wipes away all tears, in which the tree of life, and the river of life, and the great beauty, and most importantly, God will be there, and He will be our God and we will be His people. You know, what good news of treasure that calls for happiness, the treasures that we will find in Heaven, the spiritual blessing. 

5) A Cause for Rejoicing is Being Able to Worship God

  • Psalms 122:1

The Joy of Coming to the House of the Lord

He says I've rejoiced at the opportunity to come into the house of the Lord. You know, he wasn't angry that he had to go. He wasn't angry that someone dragged him out of the bed and said, no, we've got to go to church today. He was not mad. He was glad. He was glad when he heard that others were gathering together to worship the Lord. He was glad when they said, let us go. Indicating both their personal interest and their interest that he was coming with them. 

I imagine God is just as happy to hear that, as the psalmist was when he heard it. When God hears us say, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Let us worship Him in the beauty of holiness.

The Joy of Coming to the House of the Lord

Worship by definition is the reverent love shown to God. Those who truly love God will want to express their love for Him at every available opportunity. And so when they hear that an opportunity is given, they will be happy to go into the house of the Lord. 

Christians Have Reasons to Rejoice

And what about us? Do we as believers and followers of God and His Word have reason to be happy? Absolutely, we do. 

Knowing these things, what kind of impression are we leaving with those about us? Are we walking about, again, you know, angry at the world? Upset and disgruntled at everything? Are we focused on all our worldly troubles? What kind of influence does that have on others? What does that say about our own fate?

There is a great little song that came out in the 80's. If you're my age, you'll know it and will be stuck in your head as soon as I mention it.

Don't Worry, Be Happy

"Here's a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for note. Don't worry, be happy. In every life, we have some trouble, but when you worry, you make it double. Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy now. Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy." — Bobby McFerrin, 1988

If you can't look at God's Word and think about what God has done for us and you can't smile, then you need to look at yourself as well. Because more than anyone else on earth, we should be the happiest people there are. 

We have received the wonderful mercy of God. We serve a wonderful Savior who gave His life for us. You know, any persecutions we receive, because we are Christians, we will endure with happiness. We have the Word of God that we can read and understand what God wants us to do. We can read and understand how God delivered His people in the past, and how they faced persecution, they faced trials, and yet God was with them to the very end.

And we can take joy in knowing that we serve the same God. You know, we have a God that we can read about and understand what He wants us to do. Learn about the promises that he has made to the faithful. We have the privilege of worshiping God in spirit and in truth. You know, these are reasons why we ought to be the happiest people on earth.

The best part is waiting for us after death in the judgment. A home with God in that beautiful, that wonderful place called Heaven. 

  • Revelation 22:14
  • Matthew 7:21

Have you heard His Word and believed it? Are you willing to repent of your sins, confess your belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and be baptized for the remission of your sins? Are you ready to dedicate yourself to being a faithful servant of God, knowing that there is a great reward that awaits you? James chapter 1 verse 12 says, Blessed is the man that endure temptation For when he has tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Today, that promise is offered to you and is extended to you. The offer of grace and mercy but you will receive it on God's terms. Obey His gospel, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized if you need to be added to the body of Christ. If you have not been faithful as a child of God, we urge you to repent and to come back.

If we could help you to respond to the Lord contact us and we would be happy to assist you.