Living the Christian life is so opposite to, so against the grain of, our human nature. When today’s Scripture exhorts us to rejoice in the Lord always, our first inclination may be to wave it off. We may prefer to fall into the easy rut of being negative or depressed. Common sense, however, warns us this will only make things worse.

Today’s Scripture is a triple whammy. We are to rejoice in the Lord always, and then again, and do so with an exclamation mark. Christians can rejoice because their ground for doing so is not in circumstances but in the Lord. How can we rejoice in chronic pain or rejection or bankruptcy? Paul goes on to provide reason enough: “The Lord is near” (NIV). You can keep a bright outlook in the midst of any hardship; you can have peace of mind when you know that the Lord Jesus himself is close at hand.

Joni Eareckson Tada is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and the founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center. Taken from A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada. Copyright © 2016 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.