“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Rejoice and Be Glad!

(Please read Matthew 5:10-13)

February 28

These words of Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, followed his reference to some unpleasant things, including persecution and insults. It’s true that he began those sentences with the word “Blessed,” but it sounded as if there was to be some real suffering ahead. How, then, could people feel “blessed?”

The answer is in the words that Jesus used as he concluded these Beatitudes. “Rejoice and be glad,” he said, “because great is your reward in heaven” (NIV). And he reminded them that they would not be the first to face persecution, for the prophets had been mistreated in the same way.

Rejoice and be glad. The two terms, while similar, do not mean exactly the same thing. The second seems to enlarge on the first; it comes from a word meaning, literally, “jump for joy.” Its occurrence here has about the same effect as the repetition Paul used when he urged the Philippians (4:4, NIV), “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

These are great words to remember all the time, but especially when personal or family problems or troubles give us a heavy heart, and when we see opponents of religion and enemies of Christ continually winning small battles against the church and gearing up for larger ones. In the face of any of these things, may we have the courage and strength to “stand up for Jesus.” If we do, he will surely stand up for us and we will find new meaning in his exhortation to “rejoice and be glad.”

“There Is Sunshine in My Soul” is one many songs celebrating happiness in the Lord. Please thank God for this sweet assurance and carry it in your heart today.

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