What Makes Jesus Rejoice

In that same hour he [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Luke 10:21)

This verse is one of the only two places in the Gospels where Jesus is said to rejoice. The seventy disciples have just returned from their preaching tours and reported their success to Jesus.

Luke writes in verse 21: “In that same hour [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.’”

Notice that all three members of the Trinity are rejoicing here: Jesus is rejoicing, but it says he is rejoicing in the Holy Spirit. I take that to mean that the Holy Spirit is filling him and moving him to rejoice. Then at the end of the verse it describes the pleasure of God the Father. The NIV translates it, “Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”

Now, what is it that has the whole Trinity rejoicing together in this place? It is the free, electing love of God to hide things from the intellectual elite and to reveal them to babes. “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.”

And what is it that the Father hides from some and reveals to others? Luke 10:22 gives the answer, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father.” So, what God the Father must reveal is the true spiritual identity of the Son.

When the seventy disciples return from their evangelistic mission and give their report to Jesus, he and the Holy Spirit rejoice that God the Father has chosen, according to his own good pleasure, to reveal the Son to babes and to hide him from the wise.

The point of this is not that there are only certain classes of people who are chosen by God. The point is that God is free to choose the least likely candidates for his grace.

God contradicts what human merit might dictate. He hides from the wise and reveals to the most helpless and unaccomplished.

When Jesus sees the Father freely enlightening and saving people whose only hope is free grace, he exults in the Holy Spirit and takes pleasure in his Father’s election.

Seven Sources of Joy

In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. (2 Corinthians 7:4)

What is extraordinary about Paul is how unbelievably durable his joy was when things weren’t going well.

Where did this come from?

First of all it was taught by Jesus: “Blessed are you when people hate you. . . . Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:22–23). Troubles for Jesus compound your interest in heaven — which lasts a lot longer than earth.

Second, it comes from the Holy Spirit, not our own efforts or imagination or family upbringing. “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy” (Galatians 5:22). “You received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Third, it comes from belonging to the kingdom of God. “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Fourth, it comes through faith, that is, from believing God. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). “I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Philippians 1:25).

Fifth, it comes from seeing and knowing Jesus as Lord. “Rejoice in the Lordalways” (Philippians 4:4).

Sixth, it comes from fellow believers who work hard to help us focus on these sources of joy, rather than deceitful circumstances. “We work with you for your joy” (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Seventh, it comes from the sanctifying effects of tribulations. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3–4).

If we are not yet like Paul when he says, “I am overflowing with joy,” he calls us to be. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). And for most of us this is a call to earnest prayer. Because a life of joy in the Holy Spirit is a supernatural life.

Truer Knowledge Brings Greater Joy

And all the people went their way . . . to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. (Nehemiah 8:12)

The only joy that reflects the worth of God and overflows in God-glorifying love is rooted in the true knowledge of God. And to the degree that our knowledge is small or flawed, our joy will be a poor echo of God’s true excellence.

The experience of Israel in Nehemiah 8:12 is a paradigm of how God-glorifying joy happens in the heart. Ezra had read the word of God to them and the Levites had explained it. And then the people went away “to make great rejoicing.”

Their great rejoicing was because they had understood words — the true words of God.

Most of us have tasted this experience of the heart burning with joy when the word of God was opened to us (Luke 24:32). Twice Jesus said that he taught his disciples for the sake of their joy.

  • John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
  • John 17:13, “These things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

And what we mainly see in the word is the Lord himself — God himself — offering himself to be known and enjoyed. “The Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:21).

The point is that if our joy is going to reflect the glory of God, then it must flow from true knowledge of how God is glorious. If we are going to enjoy God duly, we must know him truly.

What Does “Rejoice in the Lord” Mean?

What is rejoicing in the Lord supposed to look like? by Michelle Van Loon www.MichelleVanLoon.com and www.MomentsAndDays.org

Not long ago, an acquaintance asked me how I was doing. She knows my husband and I are facing a number of serious trials. I was having a hard day, and told her so. My words hung in the air for a moment. She rushed to fill the uncomfortable silence with a Bible verse encouraging me to rejoice in God’s faithfulness.

We’ve all been there – either on the speaking end or the receiving end. I cringe remembering times I’ve offered words meant to comfort someone who is hurting, only to have those words clank like plastic platitudes they are because I’ve spoken them trying to quell my own discomfort with the other person’s pain. And I’ve received words meant to encourage, but sometimes those words have in the past seemed to me a bit of a demand to perform so the person speaking them to me would feel better about me or my situation.

There are numerous injunctions in Scripture to praise the Lord no matter what the circumstances are. (There are also commands to mourn, lament, confess, and remain silent.) I believe the acquaintance who encouraged me to rejoice per Philippians 4:4-7 meant well. But I wondered what she expected me to do in that moment. What is rejoicing supposed to look like in times of trial or loss?

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2017/05/15/rejoice-lord-mean/

21 Bible Verses About Joy

Children of a Singing God

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.(Mark 14:26)

Can you hear Jesus singing?

Was he a bass or a tenor? Was there a down-home twang to his voice? Or was there an unwavering crystal pitch?

Did he close his eyes and sing to his Father? Or did he look into his disciples’ eyes and smile at their deep camaraderie?

Did he usually start the song? Or did Peter or James, or maybe Matthew, do it?

Oh, I can hardly wait to hear Jesus sing! I think the planets would be jolted out of orbit if he lifted his native voice in our universe. But we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken; so, Lord, go ahead, do it! Sing!

It could not be otherwise but that Christianity be a singing faith. The founder sang. He learned to sing from his Father. Surely they have been singing together from all eternity. Don’t you think so? Would not infinite eternal happiness in the fellowship of the Trinity sing?

The Bible says the aim of our singing is “to raise sounds of joy” (1 Chronicles 15:16). No one in the universe has more joy than God. He is infinitely joyful. He has rejoiced from eternity in the panorama of his own perfections reflected perfectly in the deity of his Son.

God’s joy is unimaginably powerful. He is God. When he speaks, galaxies come into being. And when he sings for joy, more energy is released than exists in all the matter and motion of the universe.

If he appointed song for us to release our heart’s delight in him, is this not because he also knows the joy of releasing his own heart’s delight in his own image in his Son by his Spirit in song? We are a singing people because we are the children of a singing God.

Why Does God Command Us to Rejoice Always?

By Kim Riddlebarger

When writing to Christians in the city of Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul instructs them, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). These words are instruction to a church newly founded by Paul, composed of people who left Greco-Roman paganism to embrace Jesus Christ by faith. Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks in all circumstances should characterize the lives of these new Christians in the face of heated opposition from those who do not understand why people would worship a Jewish rabbi from far-away Palestine who claimed to be the Son of God but was put to death by the Romans.

To command Christians to rejoice under difficult circumstances is hard to understand without a context. We can understand why people who are facing opposition would need to pray—they must seek the grace of God to sustain them during their trials. We can understand why they should give continual thanks for the mercies of God that they continue to receive. But why must God’s people rejoice during times of trial and persecution?

Read more: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/why-does-god-command-us-rejoice-always/