By Greg Laurie
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
There are more than 2,700 passages in the Bible containing words such as joy, happiness, pleasure, laughter, gladness, feasting and celebration.
This comes as a revelation to some people, but here’s something to consider: we follow a happy God, and He wants us to be happy as well.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about “the glorious Good News entrusted
to [him] by our blessed God” (1 Timothy 1:11 NLT). The word blessed can be translated “happy.” In other words, this is “Good News from our happy God.”
In his letter to the Christians
in Philippi, Paul mentioned joy or gladness 19 times in four chapters. When he thought of the Philippians believers, for example, it brought a smile to his face. He wrote, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my
requests for all of you with joy” (1:3–4 NLT).
Paul wrote the book of Philippians because he was under house arrest, chained to a Roman guard. He had lost his freedom to go out and preach as he normally did. Yet
this great epistle overflows with joy.
He laid out the bottom line of the entire letter when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NKJV). Paul didn’t say to rejoice
in our circumstances. Rather, he said to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul didn’t know what his future held. He had appealed to Caesar, and his case could come up shortly, or he could be there a lot longer. He might be acquitted,
or he might be beheaded. He was stuck in what we would call miserable circumstances.
Even so, Paul had joy. That’s because he knew that God was in control of his life. And God is in control of your life as well.