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Who, Me? Rejoice?
by David Smith
...my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! (Philippians 3:1 NIV)
Pardon me for asking, but Why? Whats there to rejoice about?
In a world laden with things which cry out for our attention in a culture crammed full of means of distraction in a society steeped in the pursuit of self-pleasure and happiness why? Why, of all things, rejoice? We live in a world, as the old saying goes, headed for hell in a hand basket. Who can rejoice with that in mind?
Or look at it from another angle. Isnt much of the church enamored with the ways of the world? Arent many Christians seeking their own pleasure at the quiet expense of others? Arent many followers of Jesus chronically selfish and unhappy, even dejected and depressed? Isnt quite a bit of what gets passed off as faith actually just the worlds way of living in Sunday clothes? Honestly, how can we rejoice over such a sorry state of affairs?
Perhaps we need to rediscover the meaning of joy.
Perhaps we need a truly mature Christian to give us insight as to how we can rejoice in a world gone awry.
Perhaps we need to recall where real joy comes from and what were to rejoice in.
A preacher named Paul can help us. Paul spoke more often of joy than any other Biblical writer. And no letter of Pauls mentions joy more often than what we know today as Philippians. So join me in a brief tour of the eight portions of that letter which spell out what this spiritual giant of a man thought about joy. Imagine yourself listening to Paul answer the question: Where can Christians find real joy? Paul would say:
Havent we found the secret to real joy here? Joy is not about us, its about others. Its not an I matter, but a we matter.
To find real joy to really live, to have abundant life we first need to do some dying. We must crucify our selfishness and live for the Lord together with those who love Him. Then we too can reach the point where we can say with sincerity, humility and confidence:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
So: I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4b NIV)
Title: "Who, Me? Rejoice?"
Author: David Smith
Publication Date: March 26, 2002