Clergy Blogs

Periodic contributions from Revd. Giles King-Smith, Vicar of the three coastal parishes. We also continue to show contributions from the late Associate Minister Revd. Linda Walters

What does it mean to rejoice?

I’m still praying through the verses from Philippians but it seems this week that there is not a lot to rejoice about with the various things that have been happening with friends and family. Then I wondered if I actually knew what “rejoice” meant.

So I went to a dictionary to look at what the word meant it said:

“To feel or show great joy, happiness or delight about something”

That didn’t really change the way I was feeling to be honest, I couldn’t feel any of those things about the situations that I had encountered the last week. Then I thought is there a difference between the word in an early and a spiritual way so started to do a bit of research.

I found that there is a big difference between earthly happiness and spiritual joy. Earthly happiness is produced and maintained by events, by things, by experiences, often involving money and moods and materialism. Spiritual joy is a product of one’s good relationship with God through Christ and is constant. Earthly happiness fluctuates greatly as things happen or do not happen.

You can be broke and in jail yet “rejoice in the Lord.” Paul did not enjoy good living conditions when he wrote these words in Philippians. He was in chains and a condemned man, but he had a constant joy because of his faith and he wanted all believers to have the same.

This word “rejoice” cannot be understood properly if you equate it with earthly happiness. Earthly happiness depends on circumstances that change daily. This spiritual joy is a product of one’s faith in Christ, and this joy can endure changing earthly circumstances. It is that constant hopeful, peaceful, joyful state of mind – knowing that even when things here on earth are against you, God is for you – and you, by faith in Christ, are firmly attached to Him.

I’m still finding it hard but at least I can look at it through slightly different glasses which I am hoping might help.

 

Faith
Praising God
 

Comments 1

Guest - Alan Bannister on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:59

Substitute 'Rejoice' for 'Glory' below and yo have your answer.

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"[22]

Substitute 'Rejoice' for 'Glory' below and yo have your answer. "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' " "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected. "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all." Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"[22]
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