God Gave a Command to Rejoice to Israel
Whether we have the blessing of fellowshipping on God’s Holy Days in a place he has chosen or whether we are home alone, God gives us all a command. During these special times of year that God sets apart as Holy, we have been given a command to rejoice. But sometimes this is not easy! And as we celebrate we need to consider God’s admonition that “everyone” should rejoice. There is a responsibility to care for the needs not only of our family, but of our servants, the foreigners, the orphans and the widows. God’s festivals are a blessing as we rejoice in God’s goodness. But they are also a duty.
Peter, explains the responsibility that comes with the great and precious promises that God has given us. And one of them is fellowship. We rejoice in the festivals of God for they are special times to express brotherly and godly love. They are opportunities to show kindness and goodness, and demonstrate the power of God in our service to others. This is a cause to rejoice!
Paul’s Advice to Rejoice in the Lord
When Paul speaks of rejoicing in the Lord he used the word “chairo.” It was a matter of consciously delighting in God’s grace. And this “delight” was meant to produce within us the kind of graciousness that exemplified Jesus’ nature. It was a fair-minded and gentle spirit towards others — a sweet reasonableness. This attribute of God’s nature produces a thankful heart and the peace of God that leads to real rejoicing. God’s command to rejoice depends upon our state of mind. Paul exhorts the brethren to think on the things of God…those things that are majestic, true, right, holy, reputable and worthy of affection and praise. And when we do, we will have cause to rejoice. It will be more than a duty, or command to rejoice. It will be our hearts desire.