Editor’s Note: There was never a time in his adult life that Thomas J. McGill was not serving the Lord God Almighty. He and his equally committed wife pioneered the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia establishing the Salvation Army’s presence during the early 20th century. They even took his beloved work to the Yukon during the days of the Gold Rush. Yet, it was in 1916 that he discovered the Israel Truth and from that moment on, his days and nights were also filled with study from this new perspective. He was often heard to say he had read all of the books written on the Israel Truth. He became involved with the Association, first as a member, then as an officer and finally as a special correspondent to our first magazine, The Anglo-Saxon World.
IT IS THE PRIVILEGE, yes, the duty of every child of God to rejoice in every circumstance of life. Faith will translate everything that affects us into an occasion of giving thanks and praise to our God, Who upholds all things by the Word of His power and love, no matter how desolate or depressing things may seem. We should look beyond, above it all and rejoice in the sure promises of our loving Father. Listen to the words of the prophet of old.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls.”
It really looked as if all supplies were cut off. Things looked pretty blue. In spite of all that, we hear him say: “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
The Apostle Paul tells the Philippians to: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” He also told the Thessalonians to “Rejoice evermore.”
Now I know full well that if you decide to follow this course, this walk of faith, you will need the strength and comfort to be found in the words of Jesus in Matthew 5: 11, 12: “They will speak evil of you, will sneer and speak falsely but you are to ‘rejoice’ and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven.”
It is surprising the number of times we are enjoined to be glad. Cruden gives a great number of passages under “Glad” and “Gladness,” “Joy and Joyful.” In fact it was a serious offense to murmur instead of giving thanks: “Because thou servest not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore” (see Deut. 28: 47, 48). “And ye murmured in your tents, and the Lord heard the voice of your words.” (Deut. 1: 27 and 34).
“Ye children of Zion rejoice in the Lord.” (Joel 2: 23).
“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord.” (Psa. 150: 6.)
“The Lord make His face shine upon thee.” (Num. 6: 25).