Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.…
I. GOD WHO REQUIRES HIS PEOPLE TO REJOICE AFFORDS THEM AMPLE REASON FOR DOING SO: HENCE THE REQUIREMENT IS REASONABLE AND PRACTICABLE. The Christian is not required to rejoice in nothing or in an inadequate cause: but in the Lord all-sufficient.
II. THERE EXISTS EQUAL REASON WHY THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD REJOICE IN GOD AT ALL TIMES AS AT ANY TIME. The cause is uniform, so should be the effect. If God ceased to be his friend then he might cease to rejoice, but not otherwise (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
III. JOY AND SORROW IN THE SAME HEART AND AT THE SAME TIME ARE PERFECTLY COMPATIBLE. There may exist contemporaneously reasons for both sorrow and joy. "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." When we are commanded to rejoice always it is not meant that we should rejoice only.
IV. IN THE CASE OF THE CHRISTIAN THE CAUSES OF JOY ALWAYS PREDOMINATE OVER THOSE OF SORROW. Not so with the sinner. A saint may lose a part of his possessions: but the larger part he cannot lose.
V. THE VERY SORROWS OF THE CHRISTIAN ARE TO BE REJOICED IN. They work for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." Inferences:
1. If it is our duty to be happy then it is a sin to be miserable.
2. How grossly they misrepresent religion who speak of it as a gloomy thing.
3. We learn what it is that makes the soul happy. Not the world; that is passing away; but the Lord who abides.
4. If God alone can make His creatures happy what madness it is to live in ignorance of Him, or in estrangement from Him.
(W. Nevins, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.