Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
~ Philippians 4:4
You put a puzzle together with your mom, then you take it apart and say, “Let’s do it again!” Dad reads a bedtime story and, as he closes the book, you whine, “Read it again! Please?” You’ve been down the water slide five times with your best friend, but you laugh and say, “Let’s go down again!”
The Bible verse above has the same kind of excitement: Rejoice! The guy thinks this is so important, he says it again: “Rejoice!” Do you hear the word “joy” in there? Joy means you’re happy on the inside and maybe even have a smile on the outside. The beginning letters “re” often mean doing something again. For example, has your mom ever asked you to re-wash your face? You missed some ketchup on your cheek and you need to wash your face once more. If you’re in school, maybe your teacher asked you to redo a worksheet because you didn’t do it right the first time. So the word “rejoice” means to be happy or full of joy… and then be happy and glad some more!
Not every day is full of fun and happy things. Can you think of something that made you sad? Or mad? Or made you want to go hide in your room and never talk to anyone again? Has someone asked you, “Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?” That’s when you’re having a bad day. That’s when this Bible verse is so very important, but really hard to remember or obey.
The word “rejoice” is important, but so are the next words: in the Lord. You’re not jumping up and down and doing a happy dance because it’s raining on the day you planned to go to the amusement park, but you can be glad when you remember that God is in control. You can say, “Thanks, God. I know that YOU know best.” You might be surprised how much better you feel about things when you smile. You might not feel like smiling, but turning that frown upside down will make your day brighter. Really! Try it!
God doesn’t ever go on vacation or forget about you. He doesn’t “stay home” while you’re out having fun with your friends, and he doesn’t leave you alone when you’re having a bad day. Knowing that God is always with you is a great reason to rejoice…and then rejoice again!