“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
“Let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.” Psalm 5:11
“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.” Psalm 96:11-13
“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“Fear not, O land;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!..
Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.” Joel 2:21,23
“Rejoice always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
We have every reason to rejoice, and therefore, it is reasonable! It is commanded. Rejoice! The Lord is at hand, available to hear our prayers, and guards our hearts and minds with His inexplicable peace. Rejoice! We find refuge in Him. Rejoice! We can join the festal song of all creation. Rejoice! His judgments are righteous, He is faithful and provides for His people’s every need. Rejoice!
He made this day, and gives us breath to live and be a part of it. Rejoice! He has done great things, too numerable to count and beyond our imagining or asking. Rejoice! He thinks of us, all the time, in loving ways we cannot comprehend. Rejoice! (Job 9:10; Psalm 139:17-18; Ephesians 3:20-21)
Is it not our reasonable service to God- who has called us by name, redeemed us to be adopted as His child, and in us deposited His Spirit to guarantee our eternal life- to offer ourselves to Him as instruments of praise? Rejoice! (Isaiah 43:1; John 1:12-13; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 1:11-14)
We might think it reasonable to complain, to be anxious, to fret over uncertain what-ifs, to gripe about difficulties or what we can no longer do. Consumed with ourselves, we can keep a mental list of every reason not to rejoice, but the good and worthy Lord gives every reason to, and life is so much more pleasant when we do. Would we begin that list, and rejoice?
“Rejoice, ye pure in heart,
rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
your festal banner wave on high,
the cross of Christ your King.
Bright youth and snow-crowned age,
both men and women, raise
on high your free, exulting song,
declare God’s wondrous praise.
Praise God, who reigns on high,
the Lord whom we adore:
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
one God forevermore.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing! ” ~E.H. Plumptre (1865)
Lord, may this ever be my joyful refrain.