With Joy and Rejoicing!

With Joy and Rejoicing!

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31 days of devotionals compiled from the writings of Joy Ridderhof. First published during the 40th Anniversary Year of Gospel Recordings, 1979.

Joy's Introduction

How can we ever tell the blessings of rejoicing? I recall the undertakings, impossible and out of reach, which we have attempted just because we knew God could not fail!! And the recording trips we have taken - almost to the ends of the earth - because we believed the promises and could give thanks for them long before our eyes saw the answer! Nothing puts the world so within our reach as rejoicing faith.

Faith makes us know that God is able to give us the heathen for our inheritance; rejoicing faith sends us forth to appropriate!

Faith makes us know for sure that we can possess the land; but rejoicing faith causes us to wield the mighty weapon which will pull down the strongholds of Satan!

Faith looks beyond the great barriers into the lands of the heathen and tells us we can get the Gospel to everyone; but rejoicing faith is the power that lifts us over every wall and thrusts us through every troop, conquering and to conquer!

Obedience to the command "REJOICE EVERMORE!" makes faith vibrant and active, Through it each day our hearts can be kept singing in the expectation of His manifold blessings and benefits that He delights to bring to those who expect and look for them.

Are you expecting? Are you looking? Are you rejoicing?!

Day 1

REJOICE IN ADVERSITY!

"Does the Bible actually mean to rejoice in adverse circumstances, or does it mean to rejoice in the Lord in spite of what comes?"

"Should we really thank God for a terrible trial?"

"I can see the import of thanking God in a trial and through it, but to thank Him for it? It doesn't seem right, nor does it make sense to me!"

"How can you thank God for this suffering and therefore attribute it to Him?"

Everywhere I go these questions and comments are most commonly shared by earnest Christians as they seek to understand the life of rejoicing faith. Perhaps it would be of help to rephrase their questions:

"Shall we rejoice in the Lord and thank Him for what He allows and does, as well as for who He is?"

I have to say, "YES!"

Actually, I have no questions, no doubts about it in my mind. You see, dear ones, when we believe He does all things well and that His way is perfect - and when we believe that He controls everything that comes to us as from the hands of a loving Father - then we will rejoice in all, for all, and because of all He does, all He allows, intends, plans and brings to our lives through adverse circumstances. Oh, thank Him just now for the blessing you cannot see as yet!

REJOICE IN ADVERSITY! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 2

REJOICE! REJOICE! REJOICE!

Paul testified this way and my voice joins with him:

"I'm exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation... The things which have happened to me have fallen out to the furtherance of the Gospel... Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or death... Being reviled we bless... We glory in tribulations... (Montgomery's version says, 'exulting even in our troubles') knowing that tribulation worketh patience... Accounted as sheep for the slaughter, nay in all these things we are more than conquerors..."

No wonder Paul could turn about and exhort us: "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you... Giving thanks ALWAYS FOR ALL things unto the Father... Rejoice! And again I say rejoice!"

Then James chimes in, "Count it ALL joy when ye fall into various temptations." Phillips translates it, "When troubles and trial crowd upon you brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends."

It's exciting to read James' words in 1:2-4 as the various translators have interpreted them: Consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way... consider it pure joy... treat them as a happy privilege... count yourselves supremely happy... COUNT IT ALL JOY!!"

And there it is!

Their words may be different, but the message is clear to me - REJOICE in trials, ALL trials. Not some - not sometimes - but ALL and EVERY! REJOICE IN, THROUGH, FOR, NOW, THEN, and EVERMORE!!

REJOICE! REJOICE! REJOICE! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 3

REJOICE AND SEE THE GLORY OF GOD!

When you have rejoiced and believed and things begin to look darker and darker, be very glad because the harder the situation becomes, the greater delight God takes in bringing deliverances!

You will find that often God purposely waits until everything seems utterly beyond hope in order that He may perform a truly great miracle.

You will recall how the Lord purposely waited until Lazarus had been in the grave four days before He answered Mary's summons for Him. His words were,

"Said I not unto Thee that if thou wouldst believe thou shouldst see the Glory of God?" (John 11:40)

And look what happened! Mary saw her brother raised from the dead!

Let those words engrave themselves on your heart,

"...IF THOU WOULDST BELIEVE, THOU SHOULDST SEE..."

Believe, give praise, rejoice though He keeps you waiting four days... four months... four years... forty years... and you shall see the glory of God.

Oh, don't waste another minute following any lesser plan. Don't let another day go by without taking this exciting step of faith! Begin NOW to believe and rejoice in and for your adversity - God will bless you for it!

REJOICE IN ADVERSITY! . . . REJOICE AND SEE THE GLORY OF GOD!

Day 4

KEEP ON WITH JOY AND REJOICING!

Many times rejoicing is more difficult in the multitude of daily annoyances, aggravations, irritations, delays and unpunctualities than in the greater sorrows and testings.

It is here that we begin to wake up to the fact of how utterly futile it is for us to TRY to rejoice. We get to the place where we say, "I CAN'T. I try and try and try, but instead of helping me these attempts just add more defeats to those I already have."

It's true, you can't. But then no man can - "but by the Holy Ghost." In this matter of rejoicing, the Holy Spirit must take over and do it within us, and for us.

Let us cease from our own works this very day and trust Him to do it for us!

Are you rejoicing yet? It's never too soon to begin. Have you been rejoicing? Keep on! Keep on! Double your praise - step up your rejoicing! You can't overdo

REJOICE EVERMORE! . . . KEEP ON WITH JOY AND REJOICING!

Day 5

REJOICE IN YOUR MOUNTAIN!

Our work at Gospel Recordings is two-fold. We propose to send out recordings free of charge in all languages and dialects of the world, and also to maintain to an unbelieving world a testimony of faith in God's power to fulfill His promises.

If you were to step into our little studio at Gospel Recordings in Los Angeles, you would notice at the entrance two words written right into the cement sidewalk: "REJOICE EVERMORE!"

This motto is taken very much to heart, and we seek to apply it in the little every day affairs as well as in the big steps of our work.

Now this verse was not chosen by accident, but because Gospel Recordings came into being through rejoicing faith, and rejoicing a vital part of our ministry. It seems to me that it is impossible to separate the two.

When we rejoice -

  • the difficulty becomes the means...
  • the mountain becomes the way...
  • the obstacle becomes the vehicle!

REJOICE in your difficulty! REJOICE in your mountain! REJOICE l every obstacle that comes across your path. God wants to lake it a means, a way, a vehicle of blessing to you and glory to Him.. this very day!

WERE YOU REJOICING? REJOICE IN YOUR MOUNTAIN . . . TODAY!

Day 6

REJOICE AND EXPECT A BLESSING!

In the progress of the work of Gospel Recordings, we have faced many obstacles and trials which seemed to threaten our very existence. We tackled these trials with the weapons of praise and rejoicing, believing God would take these hindrances and bring great good to us through them. And indeed, we experienced some of our greatest strides forward and most outstanding miracles through great adversity and disappointment.

Years ago, when the work was very small, we were using an old garage situated at the rear of the adjoining property to store our materials. One day we were told by the owners that the tenants on the property wanted use of the garage. What shall we do? We had no other place to put our supplies! What could we do? What else - but REJOICE?! Rejoice knowing that God must want to do something better for us!

Immediately the thought came, "We must buy the property and own the house on it as well as the garage!" And as a step of faith the purchase was made!

The down-payment was miraculously supplied and the remainder of the payments came in marvelous ways without ever making known the need, and in less than a year we were able to burn the mortgage!

The purchase was ideal for our needs and proved to be to our advantage in every way. To day our residence and studio still operate from this miracle property (as well as some other nearby land which has been added). Praise God!

Thank You, Father, for taking away the use of our storage garage!

REJOICE AND EXPECT A BLESSING! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 7

REJOICE IN THE DARKEST HOUR!

In 1944 when Ann Sherwood and I planned our trip to Mexico to record tribal languages, we faced one of the biggest steps of faith in the history of the work up to that time. What we needed and what we had were separated by a great gulf between. REJOICE!

We had no car. REJOICE! We had no money for a car. REJOICE! We had no coupons for gas - even if we did have a car! REJOICE! AND there were no cars for sale - even if we had the money! REJOICE! REJOICE! REJOICE! Even in the reality of so great a need we could rejoice with a heart full of confidence. BUT, I am ashamed to say that I did not! I was very much discouraged and hope almost failed.

Then came the unbelievably good news that we had been provided with a car AND an abundant supply of gas coupons! Oh what joy! And with it came a new understanding of God's love and care. Oh, how sorry l was that l had not rejoiced in the beginning. But this was a lesson I would never forget. I said to Ann, "If I ever - for one moment - forget to rejoice, will you remind me?!"

And so it was, we purposed in the future always to manifest our trust in God by praising Him in the darkest hour... and it wasn't long before we had the opportunity to put this new purpose into practice. We had 8 or 9 flat tires on our way to Mexico City! REJOICE EVERMORE!

Oh, Lord, thank You for creating such a great gulf between what we had and what we needed!

REJOICE IN THE DARKEST HOUR! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 8

REJOICE IN FAILURE!

Sometimes the goodness of God is taken to mean the approval of God. When we have failed to believe and rejoice (as I failed) God in His mercy and love often returns manifold blessings to us in spite of our lack of belief and faith. At such times we may be tempted to think, "I didn't rejoice and yet God worked it out wonderfully for my good... so maybe it isn't necessary after all to rejoice at all times."

Shame on us if this is true! Because we have forced Him to go the first mile, are we now going to make it necessary for Him to go the second mile?

The goodness of the Lord should drive home to us the enormity of wrong in not ascribing to Him the glory due Him at all times. Oh, let us pray for hearts that desire His glory to be recognized and acknowledged daily, openly, unreservedly through our faithful rejoicing, and thankfulness to Him in and for everything that comes our way!

"Oh, God, let our hearts desire that you shall receive the glory and honor due your name - no matter how difficult our situation may seem.

"Teach us to give thanks and rejoice daily in and for everything that comes our way.

"O, help us REJOICE EVERMORE"

REJOICE IN FAILURE! . . . REJOICE UNRESERVEDLY & EVERMORE!

Day 9

REJOICE NOW! REJOICE IN FAITH!

It is only necessary to give a little attention to the subject of rejoicing in the Bible to realize we have commandments, exhortations and examples in abundance. Yet I am continually amazed as I talk with Christians to learn how little this has been taken seriously. The subject is touched on from time to time, but not enough to press home the truth that this is the way we must live from day to day, hour to hour.

One time, after I had been talking with a minister about the blessings of rejoicing in adversity - thanking God when things go wrong, he looked at me with a broad smile and said, "I do believe in this. In fact, it has been my practice to rejoice in this way for many years. For instance, not long ago my glasses dropped and when l looked down they had caught onto my trousers and had not broken. I rejoiced immediately."

I fully appreciated what this minister meant, and will admit that many do not rejoice as they should and give credit to God for the numerous favors and deliverances He gives us day by day, BUT, what would he have done if his glasses had broken?! Would you thank God if they were broken irreparably? Could you believe, by faith, that He would bring blessing from it? This is the challenge! This is the pattern to follow.

REJOICE believing, claiming that all God permits to touch your life is something out of which He can receive glory, and bring about good to you. Try it today! Don't put it off another day! Start NOW! Praise Him! Thank Him! Bring a blessing to Him with your rejoicing faith!

REJOICE NOW! REJOICE IN FAITH! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 10

REJOICE MORE! . . . PRAISE MORE! . . . THANK HIM MORE!

During the war, everything was difficult. My! The opportunities we had to rejoice! We were without a studio, without equipment, without technicians, without record blanks, without any of the vital necessities for getting our records manufactured. REJOICE! REJOICE! Opportunities on every hand to rejoice and opportunities on every hand to wait for God's miracles to happen.

One day, when I went to place a large order with the head of the commercial record pressing company who produced our records for us at the time, he regretfully told me, "Sorry, we cannot take your orders anymore. All our facilities are being used for government work. We have no private source for materials, only what the government provides."

For a moment I was bewildered. Can everything stop just that simply? It can't! It mustn't! It WON'T! My answer came without hesitation or thought:

"But we have faith in God!"

And oh how we prayed and praised with expectation! Rejoice more! Praise more! Pray more! Thank Him more! Believe Him for the impossible! And then one day a message came from the record company,

"Bring in ALL your orders."

Imagine it! Bring in ALL your orders! Oh, praise God! The message continued, "A carload of material has just arrived from an unexpected source."

An unexpected source to them, but our expected source. And from that time on 'till the end of the war, they continued to process and press our records.

REJOICE MORE! . . . PRAISE MORE! . . . THANK HIM MORE!

Day 11

REJOICE AND ACCEPT HIS GOOD GIFT!

Recently, after a talk I had given on the subject of rejoicing in adversity, the chairman of the meeting said, "YES, even when things are unpleasant and we have various kinds of troubles, we can think of the good things God has done and count our blessings."

Of course, I agree that we should count our blessings continually and name them one by one in thanksgiving to God But this man didn't fully grasp the point of rejoicing in adversity.

If we believe that all that touches our lives is permitted and directed by our Faithful Shepherd who loved us enough to give His life for us, then we can believe that He had a very special reason for bringing a trial to us.

The trial itself is actually a valuable gift presented in coarse wrapping. If we do not open the wrapping and discover the gift, we will be just as poor as we ever were. Experience has proven to me that praise is the effort that removes, without fail, the misleading coverings and reveals the good treasure that is there for us.

So, REJOICE! When? When you are misunderstood, treated unfairly, snubbed, suffering and in whatever your pain is to day - because it is in this particular thing that God wants to reveal another special gift to greatly enrich your life! Why not rejoice and accept His good gift today? Why not REJOICE EVERMORE!

REJOICE AND ACCEPT HIS GOOD GIFT! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 12

REJOICE IN YOUR TRIAL! . . . REJOICE CONSISTENTLY!

"Abraham rejoiced to see my day." John 8:56

First Abraham rejoiced because he believed God's promise about Christ. Then, when he took that step of faith, he was able to understand and 'see'. The scales were taken away and he was glad. The elated feeling came later. Yet it was all by faith. Abraham, like God, was able to call the things that are not as though they were.

In my exercise of rejoicing, I have had to (on many occasions) rejoice consistently for quite a period of time before the particular burden or trial lifted. But I made sure, that in rejoicing, I did it from my heart, asking the Lord to continue this test until He had worked out His purpose in me.

I could rejoice in knowing that the trial was in itself good because God had allowed it, and that when it was finished something wonderful would come as a result. That knowledge was in itself a source of joy!

"For we know that always in faithfulness He afflicts US."

By faith we can rejoice, and this releases tremendous power to lift us up.

Do you need that lifting up today? Begin to rejoice in the midst of your trial and let God lift you up to heavenly places with Him! He wants to do it for you. REJOICE EVERMORE!

REJOICE IN YOUR TRIAL! . . . REJOICE CONSISTENTLY!

Day 13

REJOICE AHEAD OF TIME! . . . REJOICE & ACT ACCORDINGLY!

"Believing, ye rejoice."

Peter deals with this subject: "Wherein we greatly rejoice, though now for a sea- son if need be, we are in heaviness through manifold temptations... though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1:6

Believing, ye rejoice. Meditate on these words. You believe His promise, therefore you rejoice. You believe He has died for you and forgiven all your sins, therefore you rejoice. You believe that He would never bring anything but good to His child, so you rejoice. And there are thousands of other truths that you can believe in and therefore rejoice.

Faith is believing God will do what He says, and acting accordingly. The first thing we can do to 'act accordingly' is to rejoice! Thank Him! Praise Him! Praise is power and it is faith in action. Faith that can rejoice and sing is living faith or lively faith.

When we can praise God for the answer ahead of time, we are telling Him and the world that we are trusting Him and we are sure His answer will come.

Praise Him now for that long awaited answer you've been looking for! Believe Him to day for good to come from your hard and dark place. Don't lose out on another minute of blessing!

REJOICE AHEAD OF TIME! . . . REJOICE & ACT ACCORDINGLY!

Day 14

REJOICE IN FORGETTING . . . NOT FORGETTING TO REJOICE!

Sometimes a person is confronted by this problem: "Most of the things that get me down are my own fault. How can I rejoice in that?"

If we have done wrong, of course we must repent and receive forgiveness. However, when we are forgiven, at that point we may cease to worry about it and expect God to deal with us where we are,and begin to work everything together for His glory.

But more often than not, the annoyances that trouble us are not sins at all. For instance, it is not a sin to forget something that we need. Jesus rebuked His disciples very strongly for worrying and fretting about forgetting to take bread on the boat, although it was obviously their duty. Let us rejoice in matters of this kind and expect God to do a miracle if necessary to make up for that very oversight, just as He did for them. Don't fret, but deliberately rejoice.

If we could not rejoice about these things, I am afraid I could never fulfill the command to rejoice always, because every day I forget things! At the same time I do not believe that rejoicing in the Lord should allow us to be careless or superficial. It should become a very real sacrifice of praise that goes up to God.

Brother Lawrence gave advice along this line that has been helpful to me, so I pass it along to you. He says that when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to God, "I shall never do otherwise if you leave me to myself, 'tis you must hinder my failing and mend what is amiss." After this he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.

So if you forget something or lose something, even in these small things, rejoice immediately and NOT after while! By failing to rejoice, you will only add failure to failure!

REJOICE IN FORGETTING . . . NOT FORGETTING TO REJOICE!

Day 15

REJOICE IN HOPE! . . . REJOICE BELIEVING! . . . REJOICE NOW!

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5

When the weeping heart knows for sure that with the morning will come the answer, not a moment too late, that one will rejoice in sorrow. They will not sorrow as those that have no hope, but in and through it all the God of hope will fill their heart with all joy and peace in believing.

This is the best definition of the Bible kind of hope I have ever seen: "Joy and peace in believing". It's the same thought as having glad assurance, knowing that God will not fail, or as having expectation with rejoicing.

Here's the entire verse: "Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13

This comfort, this hope, this joy, this peace is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts by faith. And we are made to abound in it through the God of Hope who fills us with His hope.

Are you filled with His joy and peace today? Do you have His deep and settled peace reigning in your heart? Are you ready to believe, and abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit? He's ready whenever you're ready!

REJOICE IN HOPE! . . . REJOICE BELIEVING! . . . REJOICE NOW!

Day 16

REJOICE IN YOUR GREAT NEED! . . . REJOICE IN HIS GREAT POWER!

This life of rejoicing in adversity is a life in which we grow from faith to faith and triumph to triumph. I know much more about rejoicing now than I did several years ago, and several years from now I expect to see just that much more. There are areas of my life to which I now see this must apply that I was not aware of before.

I believe, however, that the only way to grow is to look at any failure as definite sin. I remember the remorse and pain I felt when I came to the realization that I was failing to rejoice, and thereby hurting and grieving my Lord. Once this sorrow for sin is experienced, it is painful to think of it being repeated.

At one period in my life I found that whereas I was practicing rejoicing in almost everything (according to my knowledge at the time) and exhorting others to do the same, still at one particular point l failed again and again. I often felt ashamed and asked God's forgiveness (and the forgiveness of others when they were involved) but could not keep on top consistently. Finally the depth and grievousness of my sin dawned on me, and I came to grips with it.

I realized that l had no message for others as long as I habitually failed at any point. I must have His conquering power! Seeing my great need and utter inability to cope with it, I cast myself upon my great Saviour and boldly stepped out on a promise to victory!

Do you see your great need and inability today? PRAISE GOD! Because now you can let Him take over and lift you to new heights of rejoicing faith through His conquering power! REJOICE IN HIS PROMISES!

REJOICE IN YOUR GREAT NEED! . . . REJOICE IN HIS GREAT POWER!

Day 17

REJOICE AND MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Perhaps the best 'student' I ever had in rejoicing was dear Mrs. G. Being an elderly lady, she was full of sorrow and remorse at first to think that she was just beginning now, at eighty years of age, to give the Lord praise that was due Him in all things. But she made up for lost time!

She first heard about rejoicing when I spoke at her church missionary society and she really took it to herself. A more faithful and devoted Christian could not be found! It was a new idea to her to rejoice when things went wrong, but for the remaining 5 or 6 years of her life she was a stirring example in this matter of giving thanks for everything.

All sorts of things happened to her. She fell and broke a limb. Rejoice! She had a stroke. REJOICE! She had various illnesses but she rejoiced continually. It was a marvel to her many friends how quickly she would get well and be up and about again. She always maintained that it was because she rejoiced that God did those wonderful miracles in her body. Her faith was a real encouragement to me personally as well as to many others.

Once she handed me a paper bill saying, "This is $1,000 for the work." When I looked at it, it was just a dollar. Then she said, "I have asked God to make it $1,000!" And soon after this a gift came to us for $1,000!

This lady glorified God through her life of rejoicing faith and when she went into the presence of the Lord a few years ago, she "entered His courts with praise!"

Let this light on a hill challenge your life to day to rejoice evermore.

REJOICE AND MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 18

REJOICE THE MINUTE A DIFFICULTY COMES! . . . REJOICE NOW!

I wish I had access to the scores of letters I have received from people whose lives are not only bringing joy to others through practicing rejoicing in adversity, but are changing from glory to glory.

Just to day a letter came from a friend, a beautiful young, woman who, as a result of polio, has been confined to her bed for many years. She says:

"I thought I should write you this morning. Something came that tempted me to be discouraged and immediately I thought of your words: "Rejoice the MINUTE a difficulty comes." It is indeed a wonderful word of advice not to delay in rejoicing. It is a human weakness to feel that we deserve to indulge in heaviness of spirit for a time. NEVER, NEVER can I tell you what this truth has meant to me!"

It is no wonder that this dear one from her bed is spreading sunshine to many sufferers as she carries on a wide correspondence ministry, bubbling over with a message of rejoicing to others.

She also finds time, from her bed, to travel with us from country to country and tribe to tribe, and has often sent to us "a word in season" which is like a drink of cold lemonade on a hot march!

Are you spreading sunshine and happiness all around today? You can you know--when you rejoice. Begin now!

REJOICE THE MINUTE A DIFFICULTY COMES! . . . REJOICE NOW!

Day 19

REJOICE IN HIS GLORIOUS POWER! REJOICE BY FAITH!

A dear one who is new to all phases of Christian experience wrote just after an acute illness:

"I was so pleased. I was able to rejoice all the time! That was a thrill! l didn't have to make myself either. It was just there... every now and then I'm just thrilled with the knowledge that there is absolutely NOTHING that the Lord cannot do!"

And here is another letter from a loved one who is going through one of the deepest and most excruciating sorrows I have ever heard about. This is her testimony:

"My dear Joy, 'strengthened with all might according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. 1 Col. 1:11)' This has been my verse for some time now. I couldn't rejoice of myself but l finally took it by faith that I AM strengthened with His might."

Then she tells of the tremendous difference this is making in her life.

Another friend writes a triumphant letter telling of entering in by faith to a new experience of victory and rejoicing. Among many things she says:

"It is the gilt on the gingerbread and the cream in the coffee. It is like riding around in a Rolls Royce after being in a Tin Lizzie!"

Are you experiencing victory and blessing today? Are you a blessing today? Or are you riding around in a 'Tin Lizzie?!'

REJOICE IN HIS GLORIOUS POWER! REJOICE BY FAITH!

Day 20

REJOICE THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LIVING WATERS!

Our greatest example of rejoicing is the Lord Jesus Himself. It is He who has commanded us to rejoice. This man of sorrows was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. Hear His words spoken on the cross as given in Psalm 22, the prophecy of His actual suffering for us.

"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Why art Thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"

Then He perfectly fulfills: "... as sorrowful yet always rejoicing." (1 Corinthian 6:10) For in the very midst of His agony on the cross, our Lord bursts forth into praise:

"But Thou art holy, O Thou who inhabitest the praises of Israel... Ye who fear the LORD, praise Him... glorify Him... My praise shall be of Thee..."

The Suffering One exults in and glorifies and praises God, for He knows victory is sure.

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and He is the governor among the nations."

By His suffering the way is opened up for the kindreds of the nations, and the power is vouchsafed for their deliverance. By His sacrifice for us Jesus releases to us the living water so that now, simply by believing, there may flow free from our uttermost being rivers of living water. It is His life within us that now brings fullness of joy.

"These things have I spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11

REJOICE THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LIVING WATERS!

Day 21

REJOICE AND GIVE THE CREDIT TO GOD! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

"It was not you that sent me hither, but God." Genesis 45:8

The great secret of rejoicing in adversity lies in these words of Joseph. He clearly understood this truth that Christians to day are slow to grasp. Looking at his brothers, Joseph did not dare to blame them, for if he had done so, he would have been giving them credit far above that which they deserved. He saw God's hand in it and gave Him the glory.

Yes, his brothers were the ones who stripped Joseph of his raiment, conspired to kill him, and finally agreed to sell him for 30 pieces of silver - "man proposes, but God disposes." Even in this conspiracy of wicked men (and men will pay for their wickedness) God was there to bring salvation to Joseph and to his people through it.

Joseph's brothers meant it to him for evil, but God meant it to him for good. And we can rejoice in adversities because we know that God is using these hard things in order to bring about blessing.

Let us be careful about blaming the devil or other people for what happens to us, because in the end, when we see the great good that God performed through what they did, we will want to attribute all the glory to God.

Do you have your eyes on someone today, holding bitterness in your heart towards them for how their actions affected your situation? Look to Jesus, thank Him for what is happening to you! Tell Him you know a blessing is coming over the next hill and you want to give Him all the thanks and praise and glory now! REJOICE!

REJOICE AND GIVE THE CREDIT TO GOD! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 22

REJOICE IN YOUR TRIAL - NOT SOMEHOW, BUT TRIUMPHANTLY!

A dear man of God, a business man and a member of our board in Los Angeles, was a wonderful example to us in the life of rejoicing, as was his wife.

They had a series of trials that continued so long that we marveled at their endurance. Then when these fiery trials abated, he had a heart attack at his office and was gone before his wife could reach him.

Before the funeral, she told the ones who were officiating to emphasize rejoicing. She sat in the front row during the service and her face was radiant. The veteran missionary who offered the prayer said, "We thank Thee, Heavenly Father, for taking our loved one. We rejoice in Thee." To our amazement this fragile woman, whom we expected to collapse, went on from that day triumphantly!

"Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness and desolation with both hands, as a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self and entering into fuller fellowship with thy self-denying and suffering Saviour. Look at no trouble in any other way. Reject every other thought about it, then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed day of thy prosperity. Even deep sorrow can be turned to joy when received with thanksgiving." (Dr. Fred Mitchell)

Receive thankfully, with both hands, whatever God is offering to you today. Take it with praise. Offer Him thanks. REJOICE!

REJOICE IN YOUR TRIAL - NOT SOMEHOW, BUT TRIUMPHANTLY!

Day 23

REJOICE AND SHOW FORTH THE MIRACLE OF HIS GRACE!

I have a lovely Word for you today.

"In nothing be anxious, in nothing terrified by your adversaries, in nothing ashamed or dismayed--but in everything give thanks. Rejoice in the Lord always."

Anxious?

You need not be anxious because if you pray in faith with thanksgiving He will answer you and give you the peace that passes understanding.

Terrified?

You need not fear your adversaries because all their plans and purposes against you will be frustrated, and what they do will bring you some better thing. The Word says their attacks will turn against themselves and be to you salvation.

Ashamed?

You never need to be ashamed because whether things turn out one way or another, your greatest desire is to show forth His miracle of grace in your life that Christ may be magnified through your body whether it be by life or death.

Rejoice!

So no matter what, IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS, REJOICE EVERMORE![ Bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits from Whom every moment bears new blessing and every breath loving- kindness. Sound forth enthusiastic thanksgiving and praise to the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. It all resolves itself to this--that we who bear the name of Christ are of all people most happy, because we belong to Him. Are you rejoicing yet?

REJOICE AND SHOW FORTH THE MIRACLE OF HIS GRACE!

Day 24

REJOICE AND PRAISE HIM THAT HE IS YOUR VICTORY NOW

Personally, I have no doubt that not to rejoice is sin. But there are very few who will openly and unequivocally declare that it is a sin to disobey the command: "REJOICE!"

Dr. McQuilken was the first one who presented this truth so that it was made clear to me. I was a young woman, 19 years of age, just finishing my first year at the university and it was at the time of our final exams. Worry was my middle name and yet, here I was taking time to listen to this man speak:

"Worry is sin"... "It is a sin not to be happy"... "We must rejoice evermore - another meaning for evermore is everywhen"... "We must give thanks to God at all times for all things."

If his message had been about worldliness, or disobedience to respond to the commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, I could have remained quite smugly in my seat. But, no, this was what l needed - the shoe fit. I remember how uncompromising the speaker was about it. There was no loophole. Either I would keep on with my sinning, or step out of the old life into a new experience. I remember his words well:

"The secret is surrender and trust. Surrender your whole life and your sin to God, turn your back on it and trust Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit to take over. The victory is 'Christ in you.' Believe His words and thank Him for His presence in your heart. Praise Him that He is your victory NOW."

I did it and from that day forward my life was different. It was almost like a right-about-face for me. It had to be. And it will be for you too, when you realize this is fundamental and not just supplemental teaching,

Since that time, I have always been brought to a sense of conviction of sin when I have failed to rejoice and trust God.

REJOICE AND PRAISE HIM THAT HE IS YOUR VICTORY NOW

Day 25

REJOICE IN YOUR MISFORTUNE! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

In obeying the command to "REJOICE EVERMORE" we are not given permission to disobey any other command in the Bible. Any teaching that would nullify some other precious truth or requirement would not be of God.

We do not rejoice in another's misfortune. The fruits of love and tenderness and sympathy should be deepened and sweetened by this life of rejoicing. We are told to weep with those who weep, and we are asked to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have experienced from God.

The life practice of faith and rejoicing is something which effectually comforts me, and so with this comfort l want to help others as far as they are able to receive it.

In all situations of deep sorrow or trouble Jesus gave words of hope and gladness.

"Fear not... Weep not... Have no anxiety... Only believe... Be of good cheer... Happy are ye when men revile you... Rejoice and be exceedingly glad."

When you begin to rejoice instead of weep, your neighbor will be obliged to rejoice as well.

Have you experienced the comfort of rejoicing in misfortune? Will you remember to pass on to another the blessing of that same comfort you have been partaker of? Find someone to day with whom you can share this precious truth.

Plan now to rejoice when misfortune strikes your life. Rejoice now if you are in the midst of sorrow, and praise God for the blessing and good that He is going to bring from this very struggle.

REJOICE IN YOUR MISFORTUNE! . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 26

LET GO . . . AND PERMIT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REJOICE IN YOU!

Right here for your encouragement, I wish to pass on to you the testimony of one whose case, not so many months ago, looked so difficult to me that l could only say, "Lord, Thou hast said that which is impossible with man is possible with Thee."

This friend, after receiving the message of rejoicing and trying to put it into practice, became aware that it was utterly impossible in her own strength. She was under deep conviction of sin because of her repeated failure to rejoice in adverse circumstances. Knowing that she could not continue as she was, she cast herself upon the Lord and let go of her own strivings, thus permitting the Holy Spirit within her to fulfill it. Here are little bits and pieces of her testimony:

"The beauty of the rising sun, the joy and praise that filled my heart was almost too great to contain. How truly I can say now, 'Isn't it wonderful.' Not just with my lips, but from my innermost being. My circumstances have not changed, but praise the Lord, just everything seems now to be lifted above the ordinary realm of things to a higher plane than I have ever known. Truly I feel that moment by moment l am now living with my Lord in heavenly places."

I had written to her to pray for another whose case was equally as difficult as hers.

"If she only realized that rejoicing brings with it victory, how changed everything would be for her. For with rejoicing one lives above the things that would so get us down, harass and concern us. Everything is changed--our outlook is so different. Things that would previously have irritated and vexed us, no longer have power to do so. It's just a glorious feeling of deliverance, praise God. What He was so graciously able and willing to do for me, He is equally able to do for her."

LET GO . . . AND PERMIT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REJOICE IN YOU!

Day 27

REJOICE CONFIDENTLY . . . REJOICE NOW . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Jacob moaned and complained, "All these things are against me." Genesis 42:36

Shall we say "Poor Jacob" or shall we congratulate him? It all depends on whether or not we have finished reading the story.

In defense of poor Jacob, let us take into account that as far as he knew, Joseph had been killed. The rest of his sons had been somewhat of a disappointment to him, except for Benjamin, who was his favorite. And now Benjamin was to be taken away from him and Jacob doubted whether he would ever see this son again. On top of all these things, there was a famine in the land which gave no promise of letting up, and all stores of food were gone.

But, on the other hand, let us look at the things as they actually were instead of how Jacob imagined them to be. Joseph was very much alive; he was the ruler of Egypt, and at that very hour he was planning everything for the comfort and happiness of his aged father and brothers - home, food, security, comforts, honour, and the satisfaction of having the whole family living permanently together again.

Yes, poor Jacob wasted many precious years all because he would not trust where he could not see. We cannot excuse him on the basis of his not knowing any better, for his own son Joseph never deviated from an attitude of faith and rejoicing through all the stormy experiences and malicious intrigues of his eventful life. He could say confidently,

"All these things are for me."

Will you say confidently today, "All these things are for me?" Will you trust God in the very circumstance in which you find yourself right now? Will you rejoice now?

REJOICE CONFIDENTLY . . . REJOICE NOW . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 28

REJOICE NOW, AND OFFER YOURSELF AS A CHANNEL FOR PRAISE!

In the matter of physical weakness and sickness, we are often tempted not to rejoice. But even here His grace is sufficient. In this, I can speak from experience.

In times of weakness and pain, our melody of praise may not sound out with much beauty, but the One who under- stands our hearts and knows we are but dust, catches even the timorous notes of praise, and by and by, we are encouraged to make the tones more full and certain. In fact, the act of faith that is involved when we set ourselves to rejoice, pulls back the curtain between us and heaven and the things of earth become very unimportant 'in the light of His glory and grace'

After a while you will prefer to have the glory of Christ rest upon you rather than to have physical healing. You may even say, "If I am healed, very well. If not--better, for I know that this is His choice for me. He who loves me so much must have some wonderful reason for permitting it, and this I would not miss."

Fanny Crosby, the hymn writer, was blinded by a careless mistake of a doctor when she was an infant. Years later she said, "It was no mistake, for in the closing of my physical eyes, my spiritual eyes were opened. Oh, for the opportunity to tell that physician how thankful am for it."

The testimony of many saints of God, and the music of their hearts, has been smothered because instead of blessing and praising God for physical infirmity, they have been continually disappointed because they were not healed. Surely God is able to heal us, but that very fact proves to us that if He does not do so in our case, it is because He is trusting us with a greater blessing.

We tell God that if we had but strength, we could do this and that for Him. But do you realize that all the work and service of many people, however sacrificial, could not glorify Him as much as one who gives forth a song of continual thanksgiving and praise in the midst of pain and weakness and trials? NOTHING can glorify God as much as a life of praise.

REJOICE NOW, AND OFFER YOURSELF AS A CHANNEL FOR PRAISE!

Day 29

REJOICE WITH UNALTERING FIRMNESS . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

This life of rejoicing will be wonderful in the proportion that faith firmly takes hold on God, and where there is no doubt whatever nor the slightest shadow of question as to the Father's goodness and power. And as a writer puts it, "If the will has set itself once for all like a rock against such doubts, in vain will the tides of human circumstance dash themselves against this barrier of trust."

The prophet in Habakkuk 3 gives this secret: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet will l rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

He set his will to rejoice even though every circumstance was against him. And we too - without paying attention to feelings or emotions, must always begin here. Though our friends leave us, though our health fails, or we suffer loss, our declaration must be throughout: I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD. And then we can share the prophet's reward. He goes on to say, "The Lord God is my strength and He will make my feet like hind's feet and He will make me to walk upon mine high places."

The high places are our low places. They are our places of defeat, our besetting temptations, the hindrances that intercept our progress, but now with hind's feet we can dominate them with a light springing step. Through praise we will be always on top, able to walk, to skip, to run!

REJOICE WITH UNALTERING FIRMNESS . . . REJOICE EVERMORE!

Day 30

REJOICE AND BE ON HIGHER, SAFER GROUND . . . EVERMORE!

When we enter into this blessed life of rejoicing, we have started something which we cannot "keep under a bushel." It is like the light set on a hill which causes others to see and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Others will undoubtedly be blessed and helped.

Can we ever overemphasize this truth of rejoicing in adversity? Do you think we can put too much stress upon this teaching? Paul speaks from Philippians, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. Writing the same things to you is no trouble to me, and for you it is safe."

That's just how I feel! It is no trouble for me to write it again and again and again and again--if need be--and for you to hear it over and over is safe. It is good advice. Even perhaps the best advice I will ever pass along.

I cannot stress too much, or too often, or too long, or too hard, because to rejoice is to be safe! You are always on safe ground when you have rejoicing singing in your heart. Higher, safer ground!

This joyous spirit of faith will find a ready response from many, and the God who rejoices over His loved ones 'with singing' will add the accompaniment to our music that will beautify and glorify all!

Are you on higher, safer ground today? If not, begin climbing! REJOICE! PRAISE GOD! Thank Him NOW for every hard thing you are struggling with today. REJOICE IN ADVERSITY... REJOICE EVERMORE!

REJOICE AND BE ON HIGHER, SAFER GROUND . . . EVERMORE!

Day 31

REJOICE IN HIS PROMISES

The prophet Jeremiah says, "O Lord... know that for Thy sake I have suffered rebuke. Thy words were found and I did eat them, and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for l am called by Thy name, 0 Lord of Hosts" Jeremiah 15:15,16

As Christians we may have troubles, difficulties, hardships, persecutions and misunderstandings, but at such times of adversity we can open the Word, which is a love letter from our Lord, and rejoice in all His comforts, and promises, and assurances. They are true and shall be fulfilled.

When we read these promises, and count them as already done, God's Word becomes the joy and rejoicing of our hearts.

"...Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:4

Ask, seek and knock and what will you receive? You may receive the Holy Spirit if that's what you are asking for. And when He comes, He will clothe you with the garment of praise; He will produce the fruit of joy in you; He will give you the power as well as the will to rejoice unceasingly.

Knowing God has promised to give grace and glory, and that His Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts to will and to do of His good pleasure, let us laugh and sing! Believe that He is bringing to fruition that blessing within you that will make you a tapestry of His grace.

REJOICE IN HIS PROMISES . . . REJOICE IN ADVERSITY, REJOICE EVERMORE!

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