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  • Sam Matthews. K

304. Rejoice and be glad.

"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven ..." -(Matthew 5:12) These words of Jesus will not prove to be of any comfort to us unless we are heavenly minded like Jesus, 'who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.' - (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus advocated rejoicing in the face of persecution, insults, slander etc ... because its more of a strategy every saint must adopt and not just an accustomed ( customary, usual) Christian behaviour! Somebody once said: "God has ordained praise to stop the devil on his tracks", and it has always proven to be true in the life of the saints. Paul adopted a similar strategy when he wrote to the Philipians saying: 'Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord ... it is a safeguard (measure taken to protect against or prevent something undesirable) for you.' - (Philipians 3:1) Learning to rejoice in the goodness of God in the face of adversity is the right Christian attitude.

The Apostles didn't fail to rejoice when they were flogged! 'The Apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.' - ( Acts 5:41) That joy was not based on feelings but on the knowledge of the truth that their sufferings were achieving for them a glory that far outweighs their troubles! 'For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.' - (2 Corinthians 4:17) If we do not rejoice, we will be weighed down by our troubles but if we do, we will stay buoyant (cheerful and optimistic). 'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!' - (Philipians 4:4) 'Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.' - (Nehemiah 8:10) His joy is in us when we obey him! "When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" - (John 15:10-11 NLT) Amen.

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