Monday, June 11, 2012

Joy vs. Rejoice

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Today, two people in my close circle mention this same exact verse to me.

I'm in the mood of discussing about having joy in our lives and rejoicing. Is there any difference between the two?

As I have remarked briefly in my previous post. Joy is an outward appearance of peace. I think, it's impossible to be joyful when there is no peace in our lives.

On the other hand, Philippians 4:4 is a command. It doesn't matter what our situation is and what our circumstances are; good, bad, horrible, terrible, or helpless and hopeless. We, as God's children are asked to rejoice.

According to most online dictionaries,
rejoice (v) means:
- To feel joyful; be delighted
- To fill with joy; gladden.
rejoice in (v) means:
- To have or possess

From those definitions, my understanding of rejoice turn from a feeling into an action.

Rephrasing them, to rejoice means to me, an act of giving joy to somebody, or a situation. Let's say we rejoice in the Lord. For me, it means that we are giving God the honor and the glory for everything that He has done. And acknowledging His sovereignty over my life.

And it is different from being joyful. God's peace is a sign that God abides in our life. Sometimes, when we worry or fear about something, God's peace vanishes. And we can't be joyful anymore, for there isn't any peace in our heart. The only way, we can be joyful, is to keep a good relationship with God constantly.

Yes, sometimes, God seems distant. But He's never too far away. He leaves His Holy Spirit to guide us along the way. And as we walk through our tough days with God and keep His peace in our hearts. We'll be able to face the day without worrying too much and fearing unimportant matters.

joy is a reaction of peace
rejoice is an action of transferring joy into a not-so-joyful circumstances

In a chain line, it can look like this:
God -> Peace -> Joy -> Rejoice

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Please leave a comment if you agree or disagree with me.


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