Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Whenever I’ve travelled overseas, the group I was with was obviously American. We talked loud, showered at least once a day, wore bright colors, only spoke English, etc. Every country has its own stereotypes when they visit another place. One time, we went to a place where no Americans ever went and I was only with my family. With my complexion and dark-haired kids and a couple redheads, the people thought we were Germans.
At the foreign company where I worked, there were two of us from Indiana. We were both Christians working in a country that was 99% not Christian. One day one of our local co-workers said “Someday I want to go to Indiana. All of the people I’ve ever met from Indiana are incredibly kind, happy people.” I challenged my friend’s assumptions to wonder if maybe it were because we were Christians. I was trying! Unfortunately, he said that wasn’t it. He had met Christians before, but the two of us from Indiana were different.
Paul says in this verse to rejoice in the Lord all of the time and let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
That means “appropriate, fair, rational, having sound judgment.” In our state of rejoicing and praising God no matter our circumstances, we grow to become reasonable.
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
There is something to thinking about how great the Lord is all of the time. Our default resting face might not be the typical scowl of everyone I see at Walmart. Our thoughts might go to another thing we can rejoice about, then another thing, then another thing. Before you know it, you might spend the whole day pondering all of the things worth rejoicing to God about.
As we think, we speak. At some point, those joys are going to overflow from our heads and our hearts and out of our mouths. We’ll talk about what we are rejoicing in and tell others with that joy. We might even become known at happy, joyful people.
The Lord is at hand. We can rejoice about whatever He is doing and stay alert to see the next 17 things.