By Wayne S. Walker
"And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation" (Psalm 35:9). There are a lot of bad things that happen in this world. Each one of us, including and sometimes especially Christians, has his or her share of troubles in life. With these we have to deal. But let us not become so involved in our trials and tribulations that we forget that there are things for which we can rejoice. Charles Wesley wrote, "Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, And triumph evermore." Even though there is much evil on this earth, we can rejoice that Jesus is still Lord and Christ on His throne at the right hand of God (Acts 2:29-36).
Wesley also wrote, "Jesus, the Savior, reigns, The God of truth and love; When He had purged our stains He took His seat above." All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). And even Christians have to deal with this problem (1 John 1:8). Until we receive forgiveness of our sin, we carry its burden of guilt around. However, we can rejoice that Jesus died for our sins that we might receive redemption through His blood (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:7). Also, we can rejoice that even now He ever lives to make intercession for us so that as we confess our sins, we can be forgiven (Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 1:9).
Again, Wesley wrote, "His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heaven; The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given." Someday we are going to die (Hebrews 9:27). This is a sentence that was passed upon all mankind because Adam and Eve brought sin into the world (Genesis 3:19). Death is referred to as an enemy because it separates us from our loved ones and brings sorrow (1 Corinthians 15:26). However, even in the face of death, we can rejoice that because Jesus rose again, He has the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). Therefore, there is something for us beyond death.
Thus, Wesley concluded, "Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord the Judge shall come, And take His servants up to their eternal home." Yes, this life will end. But we can rejoice because there is hope (1 Peter 1:3-5)! The same Lord who died for us and rose from the dead will come to raise us from the dead and take us to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). Wesley ended each stanza of his poem saying, "Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again, I say, rejoice!" And the inspired apostle Paul tells us, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4).