They had ceased to believe in their cold, passionless gods of wood and stone, who could give them no help, no comfort; they were "without God in the world." To neglect this precept is unwise, sinful, and injurious.(N. )Joy a dutyJoy drives out discord. A saint may lose a part of his possessions: but the larger part he cannot lose.V. How grossly they misrepresent religion who speak of it as a gloomy thing.3. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Then sin on his own part is seen side by side with love upon God's. Put in Gratitude, to enrich it and make it sparkle.III. We are to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow or brain joyfully, not counting work a hardship. Colborne. (1) We lose nothing by the change we call death. J. W. Buxton, M. (9)He expresses his joy in their kindness (Philippians 4:4, 10, 18).Conclusion: To all our friends let us use this as a blessing: "Rejoice in the Lord."(C. He who sees the Lord may live always triumphing.2. F. B. Tinling, B. (2)There should be cheerfulness in giving, which God loves. Surely we have no business to keep twitting the world about a peace it can neither give nor take away, if all we can tell them is a dismal tale of trials and temptations, failure and sin. )The motive for rejoicingJ. They were deserving of all the praise bestowed upon them. Get a cheerful heart and the yoke is easy and the burden light.2. Can this be the duty of the disciples of the "Man of Sorrows"? That they are pleased that He exists possessed of all Divine perfections. (2) The short lived offspring of a passing excitement; an April day of sunshine, and showers that end in a night of sharp frost. BY WHAT MAY THIS PRECEPT BE ENFORCED?1. Let us, then, "rejoice in the Lord" — rejoice in His nearness, sufficiency, and immutability.(T. Because one thus feels sin to be the heaviest of afflictions, which is thus a sign of grace. Happiness is the outcome of the healthy play of our faculties. Whatever be the attribute contemplated there is reason for gladness even in the holiness which condemns our sin. The gospel is "good tidings of great joy to all people." To the man of family, his wife and children call out and sustain this delight, which the ordinary occupations of his intellect rarely stimulate. But the grounds of their rejoicing are yours. Hence we ought to cultivate it as much as justice, etc.2. Joy has much more to do with the affections than with the reason. These are natural to some, fostered by the circumstances of many, but forbidden to a Christian. )Joy a dutyJoy drives out discord. His graces establishes a union between the believing soul and its object. To a man who has no feeling of the Lord's nearness every trouble exaggerates itself. Beecher. Melvill, B. D., C. H. Spurgeon.If the Christian's joy be interrupted it ought only to be as the sun's brightness may be dimmed by a passing cloud, which quickly leaves the firmament as radiant as before.(H. The religion that rejoices in the Lord must have something intense about it. JOY AND SORROW IN THE SAME HEART AND AT THE SAME TIME ARE PERFECTLY COMPATIBLE. Paul rejoiced. If you did but "rejoice in the Lord" all of earth that is sweet and beautiful would be more so. To show his love to them. And certainly a man is no use in the sick chamber, or in the house of bereavement, unless he has a cheerful heart.3. Beecher. A certain amount of amusement is beneficial, but multitudes are ruined by amusement.I. Colborne. JOY AND SORROW IN THE SAME HEART AND AT THE SAME TIME ARE PERFECTLY COMPATIBLE. But in Christians this enmity has been slain.2. (4) Nor a natural hopefulness that forgets the past, and doesn't trouble much about the future.2. A certain amount of amusement is beneficial, but multitudes are ruined by amusement.I. A. Why? Nowhere is Christian joy distinguished from worldly satisfactions more than here. Now in the daily stress some of them are sure to be overstrained. Though gloom be in harmony with my constitution or temperament, that cannot justify me in cherishing it. The man who can amuse himself at the expense of wife and children or any of his fellows, cannot rejoice in the Lord, and such amusements will always be unhallowed and unblessed.(Dr. Constant Joy in God the Duty of Christians, Constant joy in God the duty of Christians. Rejoice, then, in the Lord.(H. MORAL.1. But do you not perceive that the way in which you plant the seed, and the preparation of the soil, and the season have much to do with the successful growth? This is what a famous Greek poet said about life, that it was best of all not to be born, and the next best thing was to get quit of life as soon as possible.


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