If you have children or grandchildren, then you might have watched a few cartoon movies. One year when my grandchildren from Tennessee came to visit, the movie Madagascar was their favorite, and we probably watched it at least 5-10 times during that week. My favorite scene from the movie was
a scene that involved a male hippopotamus. This hippopotamus thought he was “the stuff,” and he came STRUTING out of the water with his chest all puffed out. He walked past a female hippo, and he stopped and looked at her up and down for a minute. Then he said, “my name is Moto Moto, a name so nice that you have to say it twice.”
My mind works in crazy ways since that is the image that I conjured up in my mind when I read a verse by Paul.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he felt the need to repeat himself. He told them to rejoice, then he said it again. Also, notice the exclamation point; he wanted to make sure that this was emphasized.
Rejoicing – being thankful – ALWAYS! There is the kicker! Rejoicing means to have great joy or jubilation. Always means always! Joy is not the same as happiness, joy comes from the soul. You can still have joy even if you aren’t happy. That seems kind of weird, but there is a simple difference. Happiness is fleeting and can be determined by outside factors, while joy is internal and spiritual.
But, always means in all things and in all occasions. How can we rejoice or have an internal feeling of contentment when the external world around us is going crazy?
I think that the other keywords in this verse are, “in the Lord.” When facing a heartbreaking experience, happiness and thankfulness are probably not our first responses, but they should be.
Thanking the Lord when we feel scared might be the furthest from your mind. Remembering to thank him for giving us the strength to weather the storm and knowing in our hearts that HE is in control can trigger our joy. Tears may still flow, but knowing that the Lord is in control can give us peace and comfort.
Look at the lyrics from this song sung by the Hamilton Family:
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice, in the midst of suffering
He will help you sing
Raise your voice, He is worthy of our praise
Rejoice, sing of mercies of your King
And with trembling rejoice
My prayer today is that the Lord will instill in me the ability to rejoice in Him. I pray that “rejoicing in HIM” will become my first response, not my last.
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!