"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad"

The Bible contains many passages wherein we are told to rejoice; but often little attention has been given them. They have been passed over as of small importance, and as really having nothing to do with daily living. In fact, not so many years ago it was sometimes looked upon as almost a sin to be joyful. For one to be a Christian seemed to consist in denying one's self the beauties and pleasures surrounding one; to be stern and unloving; never to voice or express joy or happiness. The writer remembers that if she felt very joyful or happy when a child she was told, "You must be careful; you must not be so happy; something will surely come to trouble you, and you will have to pay for your happiness." Her life was clouded by the thought of always having to pay for being happy, until Christian Science came to show her what true happiness is, and that instead of having to pay for being happy, she had to pay when she was not happy.

If we carefully read the passages in the Bible where we are told to rejoice, we shall find that they are in the nature of a command. We are not told that we may rejoice if we wish; but, instead, we have no choice in the matter. Not only does this command to rejoice mean to be joyful and happy ourselves, but it means as well to gladden others. So, if at any time we seem to feel we have nothing to rejoice over, we should then try to gladden the lives of those around us. In proportion as we do this, we may feel sure we shall feel joy and gladness in our own lives. From childhood we have been taught to keep the Ten Commandments. Should we not also be taught to keep the command to rejoice and be glad? Jesus attached so much importance to rejoicing that he said in his great Sermon on the Mount, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad."

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