Joe McKeever on the Biblical Instruction to Give Thanks and Rejoice

Joe McKeever, online at, is a speaker, author and a cartoonist whose work is featured in Baptist Press and other media. He formerly was director of missions for the New Orleans Baptist Association and pastor of First Baptist Church in Kenner, La.

Last Sunday, we sang “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!” (E. E. Hewitt, 1898)

Something occurred to me. Sure, we’ll “sing and shout the victory” when we see Jesus face to face. Anyone would. But He wants us to “sing and shout the victory” now, in the middle of the battle.

How do we know? Scripture is loaded with this subject:

— “He giveth songs in the night” (Job 35:10). “In the night His song shall be with me — a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:8).

— “When men revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

— “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines; though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food; though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls — yet, I will exult in the Lord! I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet. He causes me to walk on my high places!” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

— “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

— “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…. My cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:4-5).

— “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4) and “rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16).

Do that and people will call you a nut or say you’re in denial. Could be. Or perhaps you know something.

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Source: Baptist Press