How to Rejoice Always

We who are God’s children should be the most joyful of all people! Psalm 100 tells us to “serve the Lord with gladness.” And we are also told to rejoice always, giving thanks in all in things.

Learning Joy from Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Psalm 100:1-2 ESV

The Scriptures have much to say about joy and rejoicing. We are told to sing and shout for joy. To be glad in the Lord and exult in him, and to to rejoice always.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

Rejoice all the time?

Is it even possible or realistic to rejoice all the time? Are we supposed to just sit with our head in the clouds or our nose in the Bible – thinking only good and holy thoughts? What about when disappointments come? Or bad things happen? It’s hard to find joy and gratitude then, isn’t it?

Yet Scripture doesn’t say to rejoice only when good happens. Let’s remember that Paul penned the words, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” from a Philippian prison. And many of the Psalms on rejoicing were written in times of trial and trouble.

So how can we rejoice always? I think the answer lies in how we define joy. Dictionaries usually define joy as an emotion or feeling of happiness or great delight, caused by some pleasure or something good. But with this rationale we can only experience joy when something good happens. And conversely bad happenings will destroy our joy.

A fruit of the Spirit

But the Bible defines joy as a fruit of the Spirit. The moment we believe in Christ, his Holy Spirit indwells us and gives us his fruit – including joy. The Greek word for joy, in fact, is chara, which is closely related to charis, meaning gift or a grace.

So joy is a gift, ours through grace. One that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) disappear when bad things happen, because God’s gifts are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

True joy is linked to God and his grace. And this is the only thing that can enable us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things.

True joy is based on God.

Which brings us back to Psalm 100. Known as the Psalm for giving thanks, it provides great insight on how and why we can be ever thankful and full of joy!

Shout for joy to Yahweh, all you lands! Serve Yahweh with gladness. Come before his presence with singing. Know that Yahweh, he is God. It is he who has made us, and we are his. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name. For Yahweh is good. His loving kindness endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100:1-5 WEB

9 reasons to rejoice always, from Psalm 100:

We can rejoice always because…

  1. We know God, vs 3.
  2. We know who he is, vs 3.
  3. He is our Creator, vs 3.
  4. He is our shepherd, vs 3.
  5. We can go into his presence, vs 4.
  6. We know that he is eternal, vs 5.
  7. He is good, vs 5.
  8. His steadfast love endures forever, vs 5.
  9. He is faithful to all generations, vs 5.

Basing our joy or happiness on circumstances or happenings is a sure setup for depression or despair. Because things do not always go according to plan. Bad things do happen. Discouragement does come.

But real joy is based on who God is.

It is a fruit of his Spirit and comes with God’s presence. So when you feel your joy slipping away, get back into his presence. Think on God and all he’s done for you. Remind yourself of who he is, and who he will always be. Remember that his love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations. And if that’s not reason enough to rejoice always, then I don’t know what would be!

Have you been basing your joy on circumstances, and wondering why it always seems to slip away? Then take Psalm 100 to heart! And let it help you recover true joy in him!

True joy is not based on circumstances, but on who God is.

Girl with balloons by Pezibear | Women in sunflowers by Andre Furtado | Hot air balloons by Snapwire.

23 thoughts on “How to Rejoice Always

  1. A very needed message: we can give thanks always/rejoice always because Jesus is our Savior and the treasure is ours forever, regardless of our earthly circumstances. Thank you!


    1. Yes, earthly things cannot take it away!! Actually Linda, your comment helped me today. Because of certain circumstances, I was finding my joy slipping away. Thank YOU for reminding ME that Jesus is our treasure forever. He is ours, and we are his!!! ❤


    1. Scripture is truly amazing isn’t it, Pastor Pete? So much below the surface – and it’s wonderful when the Holy Spirit helps us dig in and find it! Joy – one of God’s greatest gifts!!


  2. This was particularly encouraging to me today. Sometimes the truths we know well are brought home with great meaning when we read someone else convey them so well, and you did just that. May my circumstances not dictate my joy. Blessings, Sheila!


    1. I’m sure Patty, with all that you have on your plate, it would be easy to let circumstances take over your heart and mind. I’m blessed that this post helped a bit – and I know that focusing on God and who he is is always the solution. Life is hard, but we do not walk it alone!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joy is such an incredibly beautiful and yet elusive gift when the world pounds on our hearts and tempts us with a glitter that is so counterfeit. Thanks for the reminder that joy is real. That its existence is not based on circumstances but on the character of God. Wonderful words to meditate on, my friend. Once again, I’m grateful for your insighrs.


    1. Yes it is, Dayle. And you’re so right in saying that the Lord tries to dupe us with glittery counterfeits. We need to remember that not all that glitters is gold! But the joy of the Lord is our strength – because it is God himself who is both!!


  4. Wonderful teaching, Sheila! And thank you for the powerful reminders in your conclusion. As we contemplate all God’s attributes and how he manifests them in our lives, we will have plenty to be joyful about. AMEN!


    1. We sure do Nancy! And it’s really only when we take our eyes off the Lord that start losing our joyfulness. May we always keep him before us!


      1. Rereading this again two and half years later, it occurs to me what a fun exercise it would be to follow your example and list all the reasons to rejoice from ALL the psalms! I wonder how long such a list would grow? I’m putting this idea in my Bible study notebook! Thank you for the inspiration, Sheila!


        1. Oh my, Nancy! I think that would be a pretty long list, but it would be a great study! Let us know the results if you do decide to do it!!


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