(This is an excerpt from a longer talk, “Rejoice and Have no Anxieties”)
That’s your Father. That’s the kind of person who has made you. And He says to you, “I want you to rejoice in Me. I am in charge of your life. It’s not your boss, it’s not your mom, it’s not your dad, and it’s not your professor. I am in charge of your life and I work all things according to the counsel of My will. I will only good for you. I have prepared for you a beautiful life, to give you a future and to give you success and I want you to rejoice in Me. I am not Gorbachev. I am not Khrushchev. I am not Stalin. I am not like those men. I am like My Son. If you’ve seen My Son, you’ve seen His Father. You’ve seen My Son Jesus. You’ve seen His love for you; you’ve seen His kindliness and His tenderness towards you. That’s what I am. I want you to rejoice in Me.”
Now loved ones, that’s what God tells us to do in every situation because He says, “Rejoice in the Lord always”, all the time, every time. Now here’s what happens. We’re driving along in our wagon and we’re rejoicing because we just heard the sermon. We rejoice as we’re driving along in the wagon. Then some miserable creature with horns at the back has a big axe, and he chops off one of the wheels and the wagon goes down.
Rejoice Even when we have Problems?
So we stop rejoicing because the wagon has tipped and what’s going to happen? We’re going to lose everything. What’s happening? How will I get the wheel back up? And what God wants us to do is to rejoice always and not be caught out by that kind of thing – like the pipes freezing. We can rejoice all right, as long as the pipes don’t freeze. Or, you discover you’re in overdraft. You say, “I’m going to rejoice all right as long as I don’t get an overdraft. I can’t stand money worries. I can rejoice about everything else. Even if I am sick I can rejoice – but don’t give me money worries.”
God has arranged that wheel in that way. If you look back, you’ll see that the guy with the horns has a chain around his neck and the chain goes right back several miles and God is at the other end of the chain. God can pull that devil back at any moment and He can let him chop the wheel off at any moment, but the thing is under God’s control. The devil is God’s unwitting, unknowing servant and God has allowed him to chop the wheel of your wagon to get you to rejoice always in all situations.
Why it’s Right to Rejoice
So the things that occur in your life to destroy your joy are allowed by God to get you finally to rejoice in God Himself and not in the outward appearance of things. Now if you say, “Well, it’s all right for you to tell me to rejoice but if you only knew my situation. If you knew my situation at work, you’d know there’s nothing to rejoice in. If you knew my family situation or my domestic situation, if you knew my emotional life or my romance life, you would know you can’t possibly rejoice always in my situation.”
Well, loved ones you’re right. I don’t know your situation but the Lord God does know your situation and He is still saying to you, “Rejoice! Rejoice always. Rejoice in Me all the time. It’s always right to rejoice”. Now I know that sounds dumb. It sounds like an Irishman telling you to always get drunk on Irish whiskey and whatever happens, just be happy. No, God says, “Rejoice, be happy all the time. It’s the right thing.” And if you say, “Oh no. He doesn’t know what He’s talking about.” “Well, He does!” And if you say, “Oh, listen if He had my troubles, if He had my problems….. He only has a world to run, and a whole universe to take care of. He only has the whole business of age to deal with. He only has people murdering each other. If He had my troubles He’d know I am…” Well, it’s not so.
The Lord God has more troubles than all of us put together. The only reason He tells you to rejoice is because everything is okay. He has things settled. He has everything arranged in His Son for your life so that you won’t be destroyed. The only reason God tells you to rejoice is He knows things are A-OK and you don’t need to worry. Our God doesn’t tell you to rejoice when He knows you’re going to hit a major tragedy that is going to destroy you. He loves us too much to do that. He only tells us to rejoice when He knows that everything is organized and right.
Should we be Anxious about Certain Things?
Some of us say, “Well, yes but you know there are troubles that I have and I can rejoice okay, until I think of some of those troubles. But there are some things that you just have to worry about.” God is so good the way He wrote these verses because the next verse says, “Have no anxiety about anything.” That’s the way it runs. Have no anxiety about anything. Have no anxiety at all. Don’t be anxious about anything.
Now loved ones, as you sit there this morning, you know there goes through your mind certain things that you have got used to being anxious about. There are certain people that you have got used to worrying about. There are certain situations and circumstances in your life that you just regard as a constant worry center. God says to you, “Have no anxiety about anything.”