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Joy at All Times

Posted on: 12.09.2010

This is so, so, so relevant.
“We must recognize that there is all the difference in the world between rejoicing and feeling happy. The Scripture tells us that we should always rejoice. Take the Lyrical Epistle of Paul to the Philippians where he says: 'Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice'. He goes on saying it. To rejoice is a command, yes, but there is all the difference in the world between rejoicing and being happy. You cannot make yourself happy, but you can make yourself rejoice, in the sense that you will always rejoice in the Lord. Happiness is something within ourselves, rejoicing is ‘in the Lord’. How important it is then, to draw the distinction between rejoicing in the Lord and feeling happy. Take the fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. There you will find that the great Apostle puts it all very plainly and clearly in that series of extraordinary contrasts which he makes: ‘We are troubled on every side . . . yet not distressed’, ‘we are perplexed . . . but not in despair’, ‘persecuted but not forsaken’, ‘cast down, but not destroyed’ – and so on. In other words the Apostle does not suggest a kind of happy person in a carnal sense, but he was still rejoicing. That is the difference between the two conditions.”

Written by Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) and published in Hymns for the Family of God.


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