Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 17, 1966
NUMBER 28, PAGE 9b-10a


Robert H. Farish

Christians are to "Rejoice in the Lord always" (Phil. 4:4); rejoice "that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20); "rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:2); "rejoice in Christ" (Phil.3:3); "rejoice and be exceeding glad" when reproached and persecuted, "for great is your reward in heaven" (Matt. 5:12). The jailor "rejoiced greatly with all his house, having believed in God" (Acts 16:34). The eunuch went on his way "rejoicing" after being baptized (Acts 8:39). Salvation is truly a thing in which one can rejoice.

Paul wrote to the Roman Christians exhorting them to rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation and continue steadfastly in prayer (Rom. 12:12). The Lord does not require that we enjoy or invite tribulation upon ourselves. The rejoicing is in hope, but this hope cannot continue with one who is not patient in tribulation and steadfast in prayer.

To be righteous, that is to stand in God's sight justified, is to be positioned for rejoicing. "Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace where we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1, 2). The blessings of "peace with God" and "hope of the glory of God" are blessings consequent of the blessing of justification and provide real basis for rejoicing. The rejoicing intended for the Christian is predicated upon justification. No other foundation can support one so surely as to enable him to rejoice even in a fear-charged atmosphere.

Yes, it is possible for one to rejoice today. The Christian is called upon to "rejoice in the Lord always". We can have "songs in the night" even in nights as ominous as ours for our God is a living God whose "hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear" (Isa. 59:1,2).

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