Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

For some reason many Christians take this verse as meaning we should be happy no matter what happens. I have cancer, praise the Lord. Out of work, praise God. Spouse die, hallelujah. But that is not what Paul is trying to tell us. Even Jesus wept when He looked on Jerusalem before the crucifixion. So if Jesus could feel sadness at the Jews continued disbelief, why can’t we?

The answer is we can and we should. One needs to look at the word rejoice. One of the definitions of rejoices is “to give joy to”, Some synonyms are delight, glory, joy, exult or triumph.  I think the closes to what Paul is trying to say is exult or glory. Or even better praise. Joy is the synonym that comes close to being happy and joy in the Lord is not the same as being happy. We can feel Joy in the worst of time just as we can rejoice in the Lord in the worst of times.

We can rejoice and praise God no matter what the circumstances. When I thought about this verse the Casting Crown’s song “Praise You In This Storm” came to mind. I think the chorus sums up what we are to do:

And I’ll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands

for You are who You are no matter where I am

and every tear I’ve cried You hold in your hand

You never left my side

and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

It is easy to praise God when times are good. It gets harder when everything seems to be going wrong, yet that is exactly when we need to praise Him the most. While it may not seem like it that is when He is closer to us guiding us through the storms of life. Picking us up when we stumble, dusting us off and setting us back on the road.

Praise Him when we are happy. Praise Him when we are sad. Praise Him when we are hurting. Praise Him always. Praise Him.

Have a blessed day,


Ps: I will be out tomorrow having my annual colonoscopy. I rejoice that I live at a time and place where I can have the treatment and diagnostic tools to control my colitis and detect any cancer early.



About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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