Friday, May 25, 2007

Day One - Be Glad And Rejoice

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines glad in part as "Pleased; affected with pleasure or moderate joy; moderately happy... Expressing gladness or joy; exciting joy." The Way Of Life Encyclopedia states this in regards to joy, "Christian joy and rejoicing is, above all else, steadfast confidence in God regardless of one's circumstances." I have heard it expressed as "a deep-rooted sense of contentment and trust in the Saviour." Happiness depends upon what "happens" to us - if something good happens, we are happy; but, if something bad happens to us, we are sad. However, the true believer can still have joy in the midst of the worst of their trials - knowing that God is still in complete control, and that they are firmly held in His loving hands. When both my parents went home to Heaven within six months of each other, I was not happy - but I did have joy, knowing they were in a much better place, that all their pain was gone, that they both were healed completely and walking in the light of Heaven, and that I would one day see them again. There was sadness, as I did miss them; however, there was peace and joy in clinging to God's promises and knowing He was at work all the while.

Seven times the phrase "be glad and rejoice" is used in the Bible:

1) Psalms 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O thou most High.

There are many things we can run after in our search for pleasure in this dark world - but the things of this world will never truly satisfy. Here we see what David was glad and rejoiced in: the Lord his God. If you are glad and rejoicing in the Lord, are you singing praises to Him?

2) Psalms 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities;

Are you rejoicing in God's mercy? That is certainly something worth being glad about! The Lord knows our souls in the adversities we go through in life - that is worth praising Him for! We are never alone, nor struggling through each trial by ourselves - the Lord is always there! He sees us, considers what we are going through, and truly cares for our souls (see Psalm 142:4-5).

3) Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after Thee: the king hath brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in Thee, we will remember Thy love more than wine: the upright love Thee.

The Holy Spirit is drawing you to the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you received His gift of salvation, and are you now running after Him? He desires to fellowship with you each day. Brought into the King of Kings' inner chambers, into His very presence, drawn to the Saviour. As you remember His love, be glad and rejoice!

Working at the Gospel Mission, I see many people who pursue wine (ie. alcohol) or drugs, pursue the pleasures of sin for a season. The pleasure is fleeting, the consequences are devastating, and they end up hating the wine they once thought they loved. However, the love of the Lord is so much greater than anything the world could ever offer. Are you glad and rejoicing in His love for you?

4) Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

The primary context of this verse is dealing with the endtimes. In the time of Jacob's trouble, the Jewish nation will be tried in the fires of affliction and many will perish, but through it all, the Lord will reveal Himself to them. They will see the Saviour and God they once rejected, but now they will have their eyes opened and they will rejoice in His as their Messiah. They will see Jesus as He is, and will proclaim in rapture (ie. extreme joy or pleasure), "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him."

Are you rejoicing in your salvation, rejoicing in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has saved you and that He is your God? Whenever I read this phrase, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him," it comforts my heart so much, and thrills my soul as I anticipate the rapture (ie. being caught up together with our loved ones to meet the Lord in the air). One day in the future, we will no longer be looking for Him by faith, but seeing Him face to face - "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him!"

5) Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

Be glad and rejoice because the Lord is working on your behalf! When we call upon Him, He will answer us and shew us great and mighty things which we knew not before. (See Jeremiah 33:3)

6) Zephaniah 3:14-15 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

Are you glad and rejoicing with all your heart? The Lord is in our midst spiritually (see Matthew 18:20) - and one day He will be physically reigning in our midst, reigning from Jerusalem.

If you want your heart stirred with praise in anticipation of Jesus' return, just meditate on the very next verses in this chapter:

Zephaniah 3:16-17 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

In the first part of this passage, we are exhorted to be glad and rejoice in the Lord our God, but then we see Him rejoicing in us! Ah, what comfort, what assurance, what peace, what love! Be glad and rejoice!

7) Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

The Bride of Christ is all true believers in this church age - those who have trusted in Jesus to save them, those who have been washed in His blood and been given His white garments of perfect righteousness. The Bride (wife) has made herself ready by receiving the Groom. A time of great gladness and rejoicing is just ahead!

Weddings are always exciting. Are you anticipating our upcoming wedding with the Saviour? It will be a glorious event - one which all of creation has been looking forward to. Be glad and rejoice! I know I am!

Seven passages teaching us to "be glad and rejoice", seven reasons to take our joy in our Lord and all that is found in Him. Are you glad and rejoicing in Jesus?

May 21st/07
(Preached May 20th/07)
Jerry Bouey

Dear God...
Be glad and rejoice
So Your Word does teach
May we always be open
So our hearts You may reach.


For more devotionals in this series:
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

3 comments:

Julie's Jewels said...

I know I'm rejoicing in the salvation that Christ has given me. I thank Him daily and try to never take it for granted all that He went through to make salvation possible for me. This is a great post and a great reminder to all of us.

Sista Cala said...

Rejoicing. Expressing joy over and over again. It is easy to rejoice if we have that steadfast confidence in Him. Thanks for the encouragement.

Maranatha said...

What a blessing - seeing completeness in the seven accounts teaching us to be glad and rejoice! We are complete in Him!! That's everything to be glad and rejoice about :-)

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