The other day I had to make a trip up to Charlotte, NC. The whole way there, I was praising God, thanking Him for His faithfulness, and believing that He was going to come through for me in this particular situation. When I got to Charlotte, the situation didn’t turn out in the way I was hoping and trusting God for. So on the whole way driving home, I was so depressed, hopeless, and disappointed with God. When I finally got back home, my dad really gave me a gut check and put the whole thing back into perspective. He said that I would have been praising God if the situation turned out the way I was hoping and trusting for, so I still should be praising Him even though it didn’t end up the way I thought it would. Why wasn’t I still praising God? Why don’t we continue to praise God even when our circumstances or situation don’t turn out the way we were hoping for them to. David says in Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise will continually be in my mouth.” No matter what our situation or circumstance is, it doesn’t change who we are in Christ and God is still on the throne. I love the song by MercyMe “Bring the Rain” that mentions our circumstances don’t change who we are in Christ and better yet they don’t change who God is. How reassuring is it that God’s faithfulness, mercy, grace, peace, love, and joy doesn’t depend on us or our circumstances. Hebrews tells us that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (See Hebrews 13:8).
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4 to rejoice in the Lord always. The prefix re- means to go back or to get back and the word -joice comes from the root word joir which means joy or be glad. So in other words, Paul is telling us in order to get back our joy we need to be in Jesus always. Paul goes on “I will say it again: Rejoice!” Notice that he repeats himself and adds an exclamation point to further drive his point home that in order to have true joy we need to be in Jesus.
David goes on to tell us that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy (See Psalm 16:11). In other words, if you are not abiding in God or constantly in His presence, it is impossible to be happy or joyful. Jesus said it this way “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (See John 15:11). Jesus just explained earlier in this chapter how He is the vine and we are the branches, how we are supposed to remain in Him, and that apart from Him we can do nothing. In verse seven Jesus tells us that if we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we can ask anything and it will be done. So in order for us to have complete joy, we need to abide in Jesus and His words need to be inside of us.
So no matter what you are going through or how your circumstances turn out continue to praise God, go get your joy back in Jesus, and find complete joy abiding in Jesus and His word.