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REJOICE! Have you ever thought about the significance of this word -- especially during the days surrounding Christmas? Granted, we celebrate the coming of Messiah. And, it is during the advent we commemorate God’s plan for redemption, the incarnational birth, and all the joyous signs of the season. But, do we really REJOICE!?

Do you have any idea how many times the word REJOICE! is used in the Bible? Have you ever wondered why we are commanded to REJOICE! in the Lord . . . and, not in ourselves?

Actually, the words “rejoice or rejoicing” are used at lease 178 times in the Old and New Testaments. In the Hebrew, it literally means to be glad, joyful, to shout in triumph, sing, or be cheerful. In the Greek, the word signifies exceeding joy or exceptional gladness. Moses instructs the people of God at least 9 times to REJOICE! because of the Lord’s blessings.[1] Hanna REJOICES! in 2 Samuel 2:1, the Heavens REJOICE! in 1 Chronicles 16:31 and the people of God REJOICE! at the giving of offerings in 1 Chronicles 29:9 There are at least 43 instructions for REJOICING! in the Psalms and people REJOICE! when the righteous thrive in Proverbs. Ten of the 17 prophets use the word REJOICE! to describe relationship and Zephaniah reminds us that God takes great delight in His children and rejoices over them with singing.[2]

 By far, Paul the Apostle is the New Testament writer that uses the term REJOICE! the most. Fifteen times in 6 epistles the term is used to describe or define relationship. Paul seems to have a commitment to the REJOICE! outcome that demonstrates best a rich, abiding and deep relationship with Christ. So, what are those outcomes?

First, we quickly learn how to Rejoice in the Lord. Why? Our rejoicing is centered in one person, Jesus, the Christ. It is our responsibility to be exceptionally glad about the work and person of Jesus.

 Second, when we REJOICE! in the Lord, we can Rest in His Promises. God’s promises are sweet and precious. As we REJOICE! and give God glory, we will be amazed as He delivers on each and every promise. He promises provision – Done. He promises blessing – Done. He promises health – Done. God ALWAYS delivers on His promise.

Third, as we REJOICE!, we will begin to Recognize His Gifts. The Bible tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from the Father” . . . and, he bestows those gifts on us with grace and mercy. As God offers us more from his storehouse, we are able to see more clearly that He is the giver or all good and perfect gifts.

Fourth, we learn how to Respond with a Gratitude Attitude when we REJOICE!, negativity goes running out the door. God loves it when we come to him with a gratitude attitude.

So, how do we celebrate the joys of Christmas this year? We celebrate Christmas this year like we should every year. We should REJOICE! ALWAYS. And, when we do, we will REJOICE! AND BE GLAD AND GIVE HIM GLORY![3]

[1] Leviticus 23:40; Deuteronomy 12:7, 12, 18; 14:26; 16:11; 26:11; 32:43; and 33:18.

[2] Zephaniah 3:17

[3] Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Dr. Vernon M. Whaley

 

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