Again, I say rejoice

Philippians 4--4

The Verse of the Day for September 12, 2016 is a marvelous reminder of the attitude toward God we should maintain every day of our lives:

Philippians 4:4 (Message Bible)

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Here is the familiar exhortation from the King James Version:

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

Paul’s exhortation to rejoice is clear, as the same sentiment is expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:16:

Rejoice evermore.

Joy, a fruit of the spirit, resonates throughout the Book of Philippians which Biblical teachers, such as John McArthur, call the “Epistle of Joy.” Indeed, Paul mentions some form of the word “joy” at least 16 times in these four chapters. In chapter 4 some form of the word is found in verses 1, 4, and 10.  McArthur notes that Paul also mentions Christ 50 times and states, “And that is because his joy is found in Christ and so is our joy.”

Philippians 4:4 is simply a reiteration of similar expressions of joy found throughout the Psalms as well:

Psalm 95:1

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 98:4

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psalm 118:24 restates the message this way:

This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The lyrics to this medley reinforce this truth:

This Is the Day (Medley)

This is the day. This is the day that the Lord has made,

That the Lord has made.

I will rejoice.  I will rejoice.

I will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

I will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day. This is the day that the Lord has made.

 

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart.

I will enter His courts with praise.

I will say this is the day that the Lord has made.

I will rejoice, for He has made me glad.

He has made me glad.  He has made me glad.

I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

He has made me glad.  He has made me glad.

I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

We conclude our discussion on a joyful note, as Israel Houghton offers a lively contemporary arrangement inspired in part by Philippians 4:4:

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