We have here a command. He that spake from Sinai, saying, " Thou shalt not covet," speaketh now from the cross, saying, " Rejoice.' He that finds Christ, finds this command. It is not a matter of choice with him whether he will be a rejoicing Christian, or a downcast Christian. He has no more right to neglect the fulfillment of this duty, than to forget his duty to his neighbor. In fact, this command is so inextricably interwoven with other obligations, that he who does not obey it, exposes at once his deficiency in the matter of faith towards Christ, gratitude towards God, love towards his fellow-men, and hope of future bliss.
But can tears be dried, the wounds of the heart healed, the face irradiated with smiles, by a simple command? Were it not more reasonable to bid the leopard change his spots, the Ethiopian his complexion? God has not been pleased to discover to us a tree whose leaves will blanch the skin; but he has been pleased to open up a fountain for the removal of human woes. To command a person to rejoice, without at the same time presenting a sufficient consolation for his sorrows, is but to mock his grief. But he that bids us rejoice, shows us what to do with our griefs. If we will let him, he will take up each several grief, and cast it into the crucible of his word.
The command to rejoice, is a command - to contemplate God and his affections; especially as manifested in Christ; in his relations to us individually - to feed upon the promises - to study God's will; and, paradoxical though it may seem, to be not much occupied with the matter of our personal happiness, but rather with that of others. " It is more blessed to give, than to receive." (Read Isaiah 58:1-14.)
Rejoice evermore, because Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. The word of God abides for ever. All things work together for good to them that love God.
Bible Verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:16Isaiah 58:1-14
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