What does it mean to rejoice and be glad in today?
Here’s one definition of the word “rejoice”: “animated with gladness, exhilarated, feeling joy” *
Pastors and Bible scholars often state that there is a difference between happiness and joy. The writers at GotQuestions.org state their belief in this way: “The Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is itself an everlasting source of joy.”
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/joy-happiness.html#ixzz2MbRweTBr
We shouldn’t be as focused solely upon happiness which is dependent on outward circumstances. Our joy in the Lord is based on an internal constant – our relationship with Him.
- * Psalm 4:7 – “You have filled my heart with greater joy.”
God is the source and provider of joy in our lives.
- * Psalm 19:8 – “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”
God’s Word also brings joy to the life of the believer because it is right.
* Psalm 92:4 – “For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the work of your hands.”
God’s mighty works can bring us joy as we consider His mighty power, His creativity, and His kindness.
* Acts 16:34 – “The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.”
Salvation brought joy to the Philippian jailer.
* 2 Corinthians 7:4b – “…in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
Even in the midst of problems, we can have endless joy as we learn to keep our minds focused on God and his promises.
* Galatians 5:22 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Joy is one of the evidences of our spiritual conversion and our relationship with Christ.
* 1 Thessalonians 1:6b – “…in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit gives us joy, revealing God’s love and care for us in countless ways.
* 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – “Be joyful always…”
We are commanded to always be joyful, a similar verse reminds us that we are “abounding in hope”.
* James 1:2 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
We should be joyful even when we face trials in life, choosing joy in spite of circumstances.
– The scriptures about joy were taken from http://www.richchristianpoorchristian.com/2010/04/difference-between-happiness-and-joy.html
“So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7
Although this verse probably referred to salvation (similiar to “today is the day of salvation”), we can also enter His rest by choosing to spend time in meditation and prayer. As we allow God to specak to our hearts, we have chosen His rest rather than choosing to harden our hearts by allowing worry or doubt to take hold.
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” Exodus 14:13
The Egyptians had been the captors of the children of Israel and then became their pursuers, intending to punish them and take them captive once more. Moses encouraged the people to believe and to trust firmly in God’s deliverance. After all that God had already done in sending the plagues on Egypt to secure the release of His people, He was not going to allow them to be re-captured and enslaved again. What holds you captive and pursues your heart? God has promised delieverance to those who will stand firm and trust him.
“I am making this covenant both with you who stand here today in the presence of the LORD our God, and also with the future generations who are not standing here today.” Deuteronomy 29:15
God was always thinking of us. Though we had not yet been born, we were in His heart. His covenant and His promises are for us! As the Psalmist said, “What is man that You are mindful of him?” And yet, He is. YOU are on God’s mind and in His heart.
“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Isn’t it incredible the lengths to which God has gone to show His favor to us and to offer us salvation. He did not withhold His only Son. He loved us while we were yet sinners. He sent the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and speak to our hearts to call us to Himself. When you have already said “yes” to God’s salvation, you are the apple of His eye. His favor rests on you. This is not just the favor of an earthly King. God’s favor is the merciful and loving goodness of the King of all creation!
“The Sovereign LORD has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning, He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.” Isaiah 50:4
God has given us His word, full of promises, assurance and comfort. He gives us His peace when we fix our minds upon Him. He opens our minds to the understanding of the eternal, even when the temporary circumstances of our lives seem overwhelming or even hopeless. He sends others to strengthen and encourage us, working in their hearts as well so that they may know how to comfort us; and sometimes He allows us to be the one with words of comfort or just a comforting presence for others.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8& 9
Never forget God’s patience and His complete understanding. He is not slow to hear your prayers. He is patient. Unlike us, he is not prone to act hastily or unwisely. There is time…an eternity of time…for God to make everything right and to wipe away all sorrow, giving us the incredible, eternal gift of being present with Him in Heaven, where the joy and delight will be beyond anything we can imagine and will never end!
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Today, we can rejoice and be glad! We have a loving God who is a keeper of promises. He is patient, kind, merciful, and good. He cares about everything in our lives. He is the God of all comfort. He saw our need and sent His only Son to provide salvation. He is preparing a place in heaven for you! As Babbie Mason’s song, “What Can Separate You (From the Precious Love of God)” says, “To give you life forever, He left no stone unturned“. He is the lover of your soul and the keeper of your heart.
“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3
May we choose to begin the day seeking God, knowing that He hears us. May we wait expectantly for His work in our lives and on our behalf. May we wait, trusting Him, and choosing joy in the waiting!
Dear friend, rejoice today; and be glad in the loving kindness of the one true God, whose mercy endures forever!
Here are the words to a brand new song by Travis L. Boyd. This song is special and will bless a lot of hearts. May it be a reminder of God’s love and care and the way He meets us where we are and surrounds us with His loving presence.
EARLY IN THE MORNING
by Travis L. Boyd
Early in the morning
When the night is gone,
To welcome the dawn.
Early in the morning
At the break of day,
Your glory shines forth
In the beautiful world You have made.
Early in the morning,
When I bow in prayer,
Your presence surrounds me.
I rest in Your care.
Early in the morning,
When I speak Your name,
Your peace overwhelms me.
My soul must proclaim…
Morning by morning, Your mercies are new.
Lovingly, You guide my way.
Moment by moment, You shepherd my soul,
Giving me strength and fulfilling my days.
Early in the morning,
I will lift my voice
To worship and praise You,
My soul must rejoice!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Amen!
(copyright Travis L. Boyd, Worship Sounds Music)
soon to be added to the Worship Sounds website at http://www.worshipsounds.com
* The definition of “rejoice” near the beginning of this post is from http://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/rejoice.html
This post was written and compiled by Cynthia A. Boyd, with song lyrics written by Travis L. Boyd.
Here is a link to a video of Babbie Mason’s beautiful and comforting song,
“What Can Separate You (From the Precious Love of God)”
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