1 Thessalonians 5:16
Paul suffered very much for the Lord Jesus and for the gospel. He was imprisoned frequently, beaten with rods, flogged, stoned, went hungry and thirsty, went naked and cold, was in danger from false believers, and on top of that he suffered daily from his deep concern for all the Churches; yet with all that suffering, he instructs others to “rejoice always!”. How can this be? How could Paul possibly rejoice while sitting in a cold prison, chained to Roman guards?
His secret was that his source of joy was not governed by the circumstances of life, which always fluctuate, but was Jesus Christ Himself, who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). True joy comes from knowing God and being right with Him, something that no trial can ever take from us, but on the contrary, only draws the true believer closer to Him. So rejoice on, beloved brethren, and let the joy of the Lord be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). No matter what terrible hardships this life presents to you, rejoice because your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20), and your life is hidden with Christ in God! Hallelujah!
In Jesus, Jonathan Ball
Home Church: www.goodfight.org