I find it noteworthy that these two words are a stand-alone verse. They are not part of a bigger verse. They are not a footnote. They are not an action to be combined with another. 'Rejoice always' is such an important order that the Director gives it a separate and distinct line. Easy to read. Hard to do.
You did not get a callback. You lost the role. Your bank account has $12. Rejoice. Your beloved is sick. Your car broke down. Your neighbor cursed you. Rejoice. You face doubts. You face fears. You face failure. Rejoice.
Don't feel like it? You're an actor. Put it on.
These are tall acting orders, and I feel like a hypocrite in writing them, but God says, 'Let the weak say, 'I am strong' ' (Joel 3:10). When the legendary Moses died and his right-hand man, Joshua, was given the job of crossing the Jordan River toward a series of wars against established nations, he was scared.
The natural circumstances were dire, but God said to Joshua repeatedly, 'Only be strong and of good courage' (Joshua 1:18). God didn't say to feel it. He said to act it.
Therefore, since the 'Joy of the Lord is our strength' (Nehemiah 8:10), and we are to 'Shout joyfully before the Lord' (Psalm 100:1), we must be cheerful. God calls cheerfulness in the face of distress 'Sacrifices of joy' (Psalm 27:6), because it is a sacrifice. When joy isn't easy, it shows God and the world your faith in Him to help and to restore.
In truth, the proper response to Satan's tactical maneuvers of harm is laughter, because laughter is God's response: 'He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision' (Psalm 2:4).
Therefore, teach your audience the ways of the Lord and defeat your enemy at the same time; be cheerful.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Lights, Camera, Action series.