“Rejoice in the Lord!” “Rejoice in the Lord!” Again and again praises, prayers, prophecies, and principles in the Bible invite us to “Rejoice in the Lord!” Twelve times the exact phrase, “Rejoice in the Lord!” is used (Psalm 32:11, 35:9, 64:10, 97:12, 104:34; Isaiah 29:10, 41:16; Joel 2:23; Habakkuk 3:18; Zechariah 10:7; Philippians 3:1, 4:4).
We need to cultivate this divine joy in our bodies and on our faces and in our conversations. So the Psalmist woos us to happily sing with him: “It is good to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him” (Psalm 147:1).
Do you make use of corporate worship in church as an opportunity to practice singing to the LORD with joyful adoration and enthusiastic affection? As you go about your day do you ever lift your heart in God’s presence by singing to him a praise song or humming a hymn? Do you ever get excited, laugh, or smile as you read God’s Word?
Rejoicing in the Lord is not natural for melancholy personality types like me. I once was nicknamed Eyeore! On a serious note, I’ve struggled with depression in my past. But God has helped to learn that even I can be happy in Jesus. If I can be happier in Jesus then you can too!
“It is good to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”
Bible Verses to Help us Rejoice in the Lord
Many people don’t know that the Bible is the most joyful book ever written!
Why? Not just because it is filled with joyful Bible verses, but because it ministers the joy-filled life of God to anyone who comes with an open heart seeking to meet with Jesus and learn from him how to become a good and joy-filled person like him (John 15:11).
Consider this sampling of joy-filled Bible verses and let them move your heart to prayer. (All verses are from the NIV84 unless indicated otherwise.)
The Lord Strengthens us with His Joy
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)
The Lord Rejoices to Sing over Us!
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
The Lord Puts his Song in our Mouths
“[The Lord] put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:3)
“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to [the Lord].” (Exodus 23:14; refers to Passover, Feast of Harvest, Feast of Ingathering)
Worship is a Celebration of Praise and Thanks in God’s Presence
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100)
Celebrate by Giving Thanks to God
“Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.” (Psalm 107:22)
Celebrate the Joy of Immanuel
“The angel said to them, `Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11)
Jesus Liked to Celebrate!
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘
Celebrate with Generosity.” (Luke 7:34)
Celebrate with the Poor and Needy
“When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:13-14)
Join God’s Celebration
“The father said to his servants… `Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again… So they began to celebrate.’” (Luke 15:22-24)
Joy, Considerateness, and Thankfulness Lead to God’s Peace
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-6, TLB)
Practice the Presence of God via Joy, Prayer, and Thanksgiving at All Times
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)