‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, Rejoice’ (Phil. 4:4)
One of the simple ways we know what to do in life is that God speaks to us, and tells us. Rejoicing in God, is one of those things. Likewise, we know instinctively that our lives need to be fruitful, because God has first blessed the human race with the capacity to do things, and secondly, and linked with that he has told us to:
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28).
So joy for created human beings, is part of genuine created life. Where that joy goes, and despair and depression, difficulty and suffering come into the centre of things, then there is a dire need to recover that joy, to express a deep truth of our humanity, and so reflect the joy that God has in himself. Luke tells us that Jesus ‘rejoiced in the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 10:21),
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And where we have not been joyful, Jesus word of grace comes to restore us – as he said, ‘Cheer up your sins are forgiven’, and again, ‘Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world’.