As you begin 2020, what will you rejoice in? A bigger salary? All the toys you got for Christmas? A promotion? A new relationship? The possibilities are endless, but I warn you. Not of that lasts long term. Salaries don’t stay big. Toys break. Jobs are lost, and relationships end. The only true source of everlasting joy is Christ alone. Seek Him out and rejoice in Him this new year. Paul told the Philippians in chapter 4, “Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say, rejoice.” The Philippians were facing anxiety, stress, conflict, and heartache. How would they move forward? Their only hope was to rejoice in the Lord. Our problems are no different, and the solution remains the same. Rejoicing in the Lord is our only hope.
What is rejoicing in the Lord? Everyone can rejoice, even Muslims, Hindus, or atheists, but our joy is unique and specific. It is fellowship with the Father, Son, and Spirit, in all fullness and different aspects. We rejoice when the Spirit convicts of sin and brings righteousness and judgment into our lives, fueling our new life in the Lord. We rejoice because the Son lived and died, paying the price for my sin. We rejoice when the Father forgives and adopts us as children into His family. Rejoicing in the Lord is experiencing the life of God Himself: from the Father through the Son in the Spirit and, conversely, in the Spirit through the Son to the Father. Rejoicing in the Lord is knowing we have everlasting forgiveness of sin, in Christ. Not only does the Lord receive and adopt us for all time, but He also preserves and protects us. His generous mercy, forgiveness, and love pardon His people every day. How deep and wide and long and high is His love for His people! How can we NOT rejoice in Him always?
We rejoice as we know and experience his love. We are satisfied with Him and in Him, when we walk on the mountain tops or through the desert and wilderness and the valley of shadow of death. He comforts and I can sing, “it is well with my soul”. We can rejoice in the midst of illness, unemployment, depression, or abuse. Rejoicing in the Lord is to know He is at hand. He is near, “I am with you always,” and He will not leave you nor forsake you The Lord is my shepherd, standing at the watchtower guarding over the city. The peace of God is guarding your heart and will preserve you to the end.
Do you have this joy of Christ? Do you know this peace and rejoicing even in hard times? Our God is a living and listening God. As you begin 2020, turn to Christ. Rejoice in Him.