Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.…
I. A FACT STATED. "The Lord is at hand," may apply either to time or place. He is coming, and till He comes to wipe away our tears, to raise our dead, and fill us with glory, He is, in the meantime, our solace in trials, conflicts, difficulty and danger, our light in darkness, and our triumph in death. We greatly wrong Him to conceive of Him as above the stars. He is very nigh His people, the shade on their right hand. Let us therefore walk circumspectly, and let nothing cast us down. Let also our enemies beware.
II. THE COMMAND GROUNDED ON THE FACTS.
1. "Rejoice in the Lord alway."(1) How little there is of this amongst us. Yet the Lord is at hand that we may rejoice in Him as a Refuge, a Support, a Friend(2) The all-sufficient ground of this rejoicing. There is nothing "in Him" that is not an occasion for joy, life; righteousness, abounding grace. There is nothing our souls can want, our hope desire, our happiness need, our immortality grasp, that is not laid up in Him.
(3) There is no true joy that does not find its spring in Him.
(4) This joy is perennial — whatever be our times, or circumstances, it is our privilege to rejoice.
2. "Let your moderation," etc. When the eye has once seen, the ear heard, the heart occupied with Christ, all other matters take a subordinate position. The attractions of the world are nothing, its anxieties are lost in the. comfort of His love, and its entanglements cannot keep us from resting in His bosom. Sit, then, loosely to the things around you. Let men see that you have a better portion, and know by your forbearance, gentleness, and moderation, that the things that once occupied you are now quite secondary. What matter if other things fade from your grasp, if the presence of the Lord is realized in your soul.
3. "Be careful for nothing."(1) There is no need for this care. Think of the eye ever watching you, the arm around you.
(2) Be not full of care; it does not mean be indifferent to the concerns of life, but be not anxious. The Lord is at hand; He will provide. There is nothing in God, in ourselves, in the world, or in Satan that we need be careful for.
4. "In everything by prayer," etc. He is beside you, and you rob yourself of a great privilege if you keep back anything. Pour out your heart, only "with thanksgiving." Don't murmur. Thank Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do.
III. THE PRECIOUS PROMISE, which is conditional on the keeping of the commands. "The peace of God," etc.! Christ has made peace with God.
2. This peace must be apprehended and enjoyed (Romans 15:13; 1 Peter 1:8). It can only be enjoyed by faith, and it must be maintained by a consistent walk.
3. This peace will keep us from sinking, from sinning, it will keep us calm amidst disturbance, at rest amidst restlessness, tranquil in anticipation of death and judgment.
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.