“But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God… Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken;  and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened.”  Acts 16:25-26

     “Rejoice in the Lord always (delight, gladden yourselves in Him) again I say, Rejoice!” Phil. 4:4

    Throughout the Bible, God instructs His people to be filled with joy and rejoice.  The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed the Philippians twice to rejoice.  Any time the Lord tells us twice to do something, we need to pay careful attention to what He is saying.

    Many times people see or hear the word “rejoice” and say, “That sounds nice, but how do I do that?”  They would like to rejoice but don’t know how.

    Paul and Silas, who had been beaten, thrown into prison, and their feet put in stocks, rejoiced by simply singing praises to God. They chose to rejoice, despite their circumstances.

    The same power that opened the doors and broke the shackles off Paul and Silas and those imprisoned with them is available to people today who are imprisoned and shackled with depression.

    Joy can be anything from calm delight to extreme hilarity.  Joy improves our countenance, our health, and the quality of our lives.  It strengthens our witness to others and makes some of the less desirable circumstances in life more bearable.

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