“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Here we are commanded to rejoice always. That means that when we are not rejoicing, we are not doing what God commands. We are sinning.
That’s not a sin we talk about very much. In fact, some people might think that I’m being extreme in calling it a sin. But this is clearly a command. And sin is breaking one of God’s commands. If you didn’t know God told you to rejoice always, you do now. Therefore James 4:17 applies every time we aren’t rejoicing: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
When you think about it, it’s understandable why this is a sin. God has so richly blessed us! For us not to rejoice is like a child who has everything pouting because one of his toys broke.
I don’t know about you, but there’s many a time I’m not rejoicing. Sometimes it takes only one little cloud in the sky to make me feel overcast. No matter how much I fight it, I often find it easier to complain than to rejoice.
This once again demonstrates to me how impossible it is for me to forsake this or any sin. There is no way that I can do what True to the Faith says in its discussion of repentance. “Maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression. When you keep this commitment you will never experience the pain of that sin again.”
Rather than trying to maintain a permanent resolve never again to repeat the sin of not rejoicing – something that is beyond my ability, I’m going to rather maintain the confidence that God forgives me freely through Jesus. And you what? That gets me closer to rejoicing always more than anything else.