Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rejoice!

Isn't it amazing how knowing the meaning of one word can illuminate an entire passage of Scripture? This week, in my study of Philippians, I came to the word "rejoice". In my thinking, "rejoice" meant to always feel glad, even when there was nothing to be glad about. It had, in my mind, the connotation of being excited, seeing the good in everything, having an inner "bubbly"-ness. Could that really be what "rejoice" means?

When I pulled out my concordance and began to study, I found that "rejoice" seemed to have a few different forms. One was a "jumping for joy" kind of "rejoice", and another had a "make your boast in" feel. But the other, the word used here, was a different word. This form of the word meant "a calm happiness". Not just a superficial gladness that you put on for those around you when you are actually feeling discontented, depressed, worried or alone, but something deeper than that. A deep peace and rest that comes from Christ's Spirit within.

True rejoicing will be evident. We will be moderate -- not giddy one day and depressed the next (4:5). We won't be worried, and our prayers will be full of confidence and thanksgiving (4:6). We will have a peace that others cannot understand. It may even make them uncomfortable or angry. (4:7) We will think on and do what is good and exercise our minds with what is godly, not what is worldly. (4:8.9) Because we are moderate we will have peace no matter if we have much or have little (4:11, 12), because we know that our God will provide exactly what we need. (4:19)

I can't begin to tell you what a blessing this was to me. The word I had chosen at the beginning of this year was "peace", and it has been anything but a peaceful year in so many facets of my life. But this "calm happiness" IS peace. It's a peace that passes understanding, so much so that others may think that you don't care because you don't get riled up easily. It's a peace that focuses on the good in others and doesn't allow for bitterness, because you can't bear to have your fellowship with God broken. It's a peace that encourages moderation in spending and time management. It's a peace that overflows to those around you without you even realizing it. "Calm happiness" is simply true faith lived out. Calm Happiness. Rejoicing.

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

And may the God of peace be with you.


2 comments:

Christi said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Tricia. I needed to hear it today. :)

cheryl said...

This was beautiful and wonderfully timed!!