What happens when people rejoice together? It is one thing to congratulate and to wish somebody well, but to wholly rejoice with one another is an incredible blessing.
[Romans 12] speaks about having a genuine and brotherly love for one another. Verses 12-15 say:
” Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. ”
I recently had some news to share with people, and was really touched by how people responded. I was thinking about how to describe it – a joyfulness overflowing with love and thanksgiving to God. It was like that genuine loving and rejoicing spirit lifted up my own so that we all gave glory to God. It was powerful.
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A Reminder in Rejoicing
Receiving that rejoicing strengthened my own spirit. Any doubts were cast out and my mind was just brought to a place of acknowledging the goodness and faithfulness of God. It also made me aware of how I rejoice with others, and I felt energised to celebrate the testimonies of God’s goodness in the lives of all those around me.
God’s steadfast love surrounds us, no matter what our situation is, and we have reason to rejoice in Him everyday!
[Psalm 32:10-11] – “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad I the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
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How to Rejoice
One of the incredible things about joy is that is does not depend on circumstance. It doesn’t depend on whether or not we get any glory, but joy finds its strength in the simple assurance that we are fully loved by God the Father.
The passage that comes to mind is [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
To rejoice with love like this is freedom, extended even beyond ourselves to those we celebrate with. It means patience; that we can wait out a promise with someone and not grow weary in that waiting. It means kindness and selflessness; that we give time to lift up and listen to another person. It displaces jealousy because there is no comparison or need for bitterness when we know that God loves each one of us and has a good plan and purpose for our lives. It does not keep a grudge, but chooses to celebrate the work of God in every person.
True rejoicing is powerful because it is the outworking of a heart that knows the love of God not only for self, but for all people.
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The Sound of Heaven’s Rejoicing
We know how to celebrate on earth, how to make a loud noise and show that something or someone is worth the party. What about the sound of heaven’s rejoicing when a lost child of God becomes found?
[Luke 15] tells a number of parables
- The shepherd who finds his lost sheep
- The woman who finds her lost coin
- The prodigal son who returns to the house of his father
In each of these parables, something or someone is lost. The shepherd, the owner of the coin, and the father of the lost son all desire for that lost sheep, coin and son to return. When the sheep, coin and son are found, there is a great celebration with friends and neighbours all called to celebrate. We then see the message God wants us know about how heaven rejoices.
The parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin tell us that there is great rejoicing in heaven and in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents. The parable of the lost son tells us this rejoicing is because they have been brought from death into life.
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Why not rejoice? Despite the hardships of life and the difficulties we might face, there is a simple truth that always gives us a hope to rejoice in:
[John 3:16] – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross so that whoever believes in Him will be saved.”
Why not rejoice with others? There are testimonies and miracles to celebrate everyday and where there are trials, we can still find joy together in knowing that God is faithful and can help us to overcome.
So we have every reason to rejoice in our Father God who loves us, and who loves all the people of the world.