The Sphere of Christian Joy
Philippians 4:4-8
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

God has made the human soul, and every instinct of faculty that composes it for Himself. He alone is the key to unlock its varied and mysterious powers, to discover their true range and capacity: and as this is the case with the other emotions so it is with joy. Joy, undoubtedly, that active sense of happiness which caresses the object which provokes it; which seeks some outlet or expression of its buoyancy — joy has an immense field of modified exercise in the sphere of sense and time, and Scripture recognizes this in a hundred ways. "To the counsellors of peace there is joy." A man hath "joy by the answer of his mouth." The virgin, in Jeremiah, "rejoices in the dance," and Isaiah speaks of the "joy of harvest," and of the "rejoicing" of men after victory "who divide the spoil;" and Solomon observes that "folly is joy to him who is destitute of wisdom;" and James knows of Christians who "rejoice in their boastings, whose rejoicing is evil." The range of joy is almost as wide as that of human thought and enterprise. Its complete satisfaction is only to be found in God. God is the "exceeding joy" of the Psalmist. God is the one object who can draw out and give play to the soul's capacity for active happiness; and therefore the Psalmist's heart "dances for joy," and his mouth "praiseth God with joyful lips," and he bids the children of Zion "be joyful in their King;" and he looks out on heathendom, and would have all lands, if it were possible, "make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob;" and he looks out on nature and bids the "field be joyful and all that is in it, and the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord." This is the language of exuberant delight, and St. Paul is only adopting the expression of the Psalmist, of Israel, of Joel, of Habakkuk, of Zechariah, when he bids the Philippians "rejoice in the Lord."

(Canon Liddon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

WEB: Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!

The Oil of Joy
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