Rejoice with those who Rejoice

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15

This week, promotion announcements are being made in the company where I work, whereas many people are happy for those who are promoted. The majority of people are disappointed that they or their friends are not promoted. Some people are downright resentful of the process because they question the integrity thereof.

I can certainly understand why some people may not be thrilled about hearing that others are promoted, especially if they feel overlooked despite their hard work and dedication. No doubt, there are many instances where individuals are justified in their resentment of such announcements. After all, the corporate structure is rife with inequity. Yet Christians are challenged to rejoice with those who rejoice.

What about people who profit from the misery of others? Should we rejoice with them? I don’t think that is what the text is saying. Paul is speaking strictly to the Christian community and asking Christians to rejoice with those that have been blessed by Almighty God.

Why is Paul asking Christians to rejoice with those who rejoice? First, there should be no room in our hearts for jealousy and envy. James 3:16 reminds us, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” Envy and jealousy are sins against God. When we harbor envy and jealousy against another brother and sister who is blessed by God, we are showing our discontent to God as if the Almighty made a mistake.

God is perfect in every way. If he chooses to bless someone, we have to rejoice for that person because we want to honor and celebrate God’s favor over that person. Why should we resent another brother or sister who is blessed by God? Are the blessings ours to give away? Did they steal something that belonged to us? No! All good and perfect gifts come from the Lord. So, who are we to be jealous and envious of those God chooses to bless.

Second, rejoicing with those who rejoice fosters unity and harmony in the body of Christ (Church). In the ancient Palestine cultural context, people used to invite neighbors, family, and friends to banquets to celebrate their blessings (wedding, baby dedication, the return of a lost animal, etc.). There was an expectation that people should rejoice with people who rejoice. Doing so helped to strengthen the communal bond, made families stronger, and neighborhoods safer.

When we rejoice with those, who rejoice we open ourselves to receive collateral blessings, also known as overflow blessings. God will bless those who celebrate his decision to bless those he chooses to bless. He will also curse those who are jealous or envious of his decision to bless others.

The text ends with a reminder from Paul to mourn with those who mourn. What does that mean? We should sympathize with those who are mourning, hurting, or suffering. That sympathy should prompt us to demonstrate kindness and generosity as we endeavor to comfort those who mourn.

We mourn with those in the hospital when we visit them and spend time with them. When someone loses a loved one, we should make ourselves available to serve and comfort them to the best of our ability. It is indeed in times of sorrow that true discipleship is demonstrated. Jesus wept when he went by the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). We do not necessarily have to weep for everyone and everything; however, we can provide a shoulder for others to cry and be a comforting presence in their time of grief.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, I pray for those who are mourning a loved one. Strengthen them by your comforting grace so they can recover from their sorrow.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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