Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again, I say rejoice.
I read those words in Philippians this morning and two things struck me.
First, it's a command. The Spirit, through Paul, isn't asking us to rejoice or inviting us to rejoice. He's commanding that we rejoice. But how can you command someone to rejoice? That's like a dad saying to his teenage son, "Well, just get happy about it." But the thing is, I have the capacity to produce joy in my kids. We had kolaches and donuts for breakfast this morning = joy at the Henderson household. Our Father gives gifts too, the greatest of which is Himself. And this command serves as a great guard rail against the cliffs of bad attitudes and sour attitudes. Obeying it means we focus on something other than whatever's making us mad, sad, or sour. That lifts our eyes to God.
Second, rejoice always. Boo. No, seriously. Boo. Who wants to rejoice always? Why can't I just be sad sometimes without God commanding me to rejoice even in the midst of sadness? But His commands are good and for my good. And, as stated above, I think it guards me from pathetic self-pity and gloom.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...