Rejoice. The word appears 194 times in the Bible. Which kinda gives you the impression God wants you to be happy, right?
Right. Although I didn’t grow up thinking that; I grew up thinking that God wanted us to be all sour-faced and serious, like, you know…the Pharisees. Who hated Jesus. As if that made any sense.
No, God really does want us to be happy, and even care-free, which is why he tells us to cast our cares on him (1 Pet. 5:7, Phil. 4:6,) and commands us to rejoice.Yeah, said that right, he actually commands it, even if it is only by means of what linguists call a “polite command,” such as “Hey, look over there!”
And yet it is still a command of sorts, and that’s intentional on his part. Because if he only suggested that we rejoice, we probably wouldn’t do it, and then we wouldn’t be happy. And there’s a solid reason for this: you see, no one else can really make you be happy. You have to choose it. As the adage goes, “Happiness is a choice.”
Now sometimes choosing it easy, as when everything’s going perfectly. But other times things aren’t going so well, and that’s when we need to choose happiness, as Philippians 4:4 implies when it says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
Always. In other words, even when things are messed up.
But here’s the best part: the Holy Spirit will actually help you to be happy. He’ll give you supernatural joy, if you’ll only try to rejoice. You see, joy is a fruit of the Spirit; something that grows on its own within your heart, and if you’ll yield to it, God-produced joy will come bubbling up into your soul.
So my advice? Rejoice. Open the floodgates to the happiness God wants to give you. And why would he give us this Holy Spirit joy? Because he loves us and wants us to be happy, even while he’s fixing the broken things in our lives.