To rejoice is something you choose to do. Therefore, choose to rejoice. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Are you waiting for everything to line up, or waiting for joy as a by-product of no problems before you start rejoicing? I’m telling you that’s not sustainable. Rejoicing is something you choose to do. This is very important! If Satan can’t steal your joy, he can’t steal your strength. You need to recognise or pay attention to Ps. 118:24 and Neh. 8:10. If you don’t have joy in your life, you don’t have strength. There’s a big difference between what the Bible calls joy and what the world calls joy. The world is talking about drunkenness or getting yourself high on something. That’s not what the Bible is talking about as joy.
True joy is rejoicing in your heart even though everything around you is collapsing. I know that there are people who will say I don’t believe that. But it’s absolutely true. The apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was in prison in Rome. He mentioned 17 times in those chapters to rejoice. He said, “Again rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). There are 17 times that joy, rejoicing and rejoice were used. It was the most joyful, the most victorious, the happiest letter that the apostle wrote, and he wrote it while he was in prison. People don’t understand that true joy is not based on circumstances. Joy is not based on what’s happening to you, it’s based on what’s happening inside of you. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).
True joy is not a state of being, it’s a state of mind. It depends on how you are thinking about things. People who don’t understand that will say it’s impossible to rejoice when things are not going on well in your life, and yet we have the example of the apostle Paul writing from prison, the most victorious, joyful, and happy letter that he ever wrote to anybody. That says a lot to all of us. He said “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Let’s take this into context. He was in prison. He was writing to people who were concerned about him. They thought that Paul could be killed at any time and so they were concerned. They were trying to find out, Paul are you OK? And Paul was trying to comfort them by saying rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Some people may have thought we may have misunderstood him, he couldn’t mean what he said in his letter. I’m sure Paul knew that, so he said ‘again I say rejoice.’
He was trying to get this point across; that regardless of what’s happening in your life, you can be rejoicing. As a matter of fact, the very word rejoice is a verb and not a noun. For any of you who have background in English grammar, a verb is an action word, it’s something you do, whereas a noun is a description of a person, place or a thing. In other words, if he said have joy, is like an experience. But to rejoice is something you choose to do. He is telling you that regardless of how your circumstances are like, or what you are going through, rejoice in the Lord. Act on this, operate on this, and release the joy of the Lord. Jesus said this in John 16:33; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” These were the very last words that He was speaking to His disciples the night before His crucifixion. So, always have an attitude of rejoicing.