"Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say it again, be full of joy." (NCV)
What is God saying?
God's followers are to find joy in Him continually - regardless of their circumstances.
What is God saying to us today?
From time to time we come across verses where God seems to be telling us to do impossible things. How can we be full of joy all of the time? Nobody's life is perfect; we all have ups and downs. So, how can we have joy when we go through difficult times? Not only does that seem impossible, but also a little crazy. If Christians went around laughing and smiling when their lives were falling apart, others would think we've lost touch with reality. So what is going on here? First we need to remember who actually wrote these words. Paul experienced a lot of extremely bad stuff in his life (beatings, stoning, imprisonment, etc.) so he knows what he's telling us to do. But the key here is the phrase "in the Lord" - it doesn't say "in our circumstances" - because God is the source of our ultimate joy. While we might be going through a season of difficulty, we still find great delight in knowing that God is with us, and working on our behalf for our salvation.
What is God inviting us t do?
Where/what/who is your source of joy? God invites us to always find our joy in Him, because He will never let us down - even when life gets tough.