Rejoice in the Lord always
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Phil. 4:4
This is a command: the follower of Christ is to rejoice, no matter the circumstances. That does not mean, of course, that we put on plastic smiles or that we pretend that the pain we are experiencing is not real. For this is not a rejoicing that depends upon our moods or our circumstances. Paul is not telling us to have fun. He is telling us to rejoice, and this kind of rejoicing is deep enough to survive deep grief and painful sorrows. In fact, Paul can say in another place, "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:10).
But how can this be? How can we have this kind of joy? The answer is that this is a joy which rests not upon anything in us or around us but in the sovereign and good and wise and loving and holy purpose of God in Christ, a purpose that produces hope and joy in us. It is the reason why the apostle will tell the Romans, "Rejoicing in hope" (Rom. 12:12). The basis of our joy is in heaven, with Christ (Col. 3:1-3), and there is nothing in this universe that can touch that. It is secure, more secure than the gold in the vaults of Fort Knox, more firm than the Rock of Gibraltar, more lasting than the sun in his courses.
Dear saint, hold on therefore to your hope. And rejoice in it. You don't need permission to do so: in fact, it is a command. Rejoice!