Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.…
The duty is an important one. The tone of the apostle here and elsewhere brings this out very clearly. Nothing is more calculated to commend the gospel to those around us, than proof that its influence on the hearts which receive it is to make them bright and happy. This commendation is, of course, specially impressive where outward circumstances are of a kind naturally tending to sadden. When, in deep poverty, or on a bed of pain, a Christian is contented, calm, joyous, there is here "an epistle of Christ" written in letters so large and fair, that even careless observers can hardly help reading its testimony to the reality and potency of Divine grace. Where the lights of this world have been in so large a measure withdrawn, it must be plain that such brightness of heart can come only through a beam of sunshine straight from heaven to that heart. For the spiritual progress of the believer himself, too, it is of very much moment that he "rejoice in the Lord." Nehemiah's statement holds true for all time: "The joy of the Lord is your strength." We know the power of happiness, of a genial, buoyant spirit, in carrying forward the ordinary work of life. In the work of the spiritual life — resistance to temptation, and earnest labour for the Master — there is no sustaining power to be compared with joy. Walking in darkness, enveloped in spiritual gloom, we move slowly, stumble, fall. In the sunshine, we press forward with bounding step in the way of God's commandments, "running, and net weary"; wherefore, "O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord."
(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.