Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. (Philippians 3:1a)
Choosing to rejoice in the Lord at all times is vital if the believer is to remain steadfast. The tense of this command renders it a continuous action. "Rejoice and keep on rejoicing." Rejoicing in Christ is something of which the believer should never grow weary. The blessed nature of God commands the unceasing praise of His people. He should be praised because "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3)." The Lord should be praised because He is "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6)." The saint is encouraged to continuously rejoice in God, because the Lord never leaves a man just as He found him. God's Spirit encourages and draws the sinner toward repentant faith in Jesus Christ. His Spirit is constantly at work in the believer, transforming him into the image of Christ. Who truly appreciates a friend that never encourages his acquaintances to better themselves? Of what value is a friend who never challenges his peers to reach a higher goal? God is the greatest Friend of all, because He is constantly encouraging men toward a true and lasting spiritual relationship. He does not sit by passively and allow His children to do as they please; but rather, His holy Spirit is actively at work in the soul of the saint, providing conviction, chastening, comfort, healing and growth. Yes, rejoicing in the Lord is a worthy endeavor.
Giving mental ascent to the value of rejoicing is often easy; however, the daily and consistent implementation of rejoicing is quite another story. When faced with difficult circumstances, a man often fails to rejoice. As a man journeys through life and finds his daily needs being met, his soul tends to forget the value of rejoicing; and even when he does remember to rejoice, he oftentimes falls short in sincerity and expression. These three pitfalls (failing, forgetting, and falling short) will be expounded through the examination of scriptural examples.