Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
The call to rejoice is not a call to pretend you feel great when you don't. It's not a pep talk or a bit of Happy Juice to keep the machinery functional for another day. It's a reminder of Ultimate Reality. Call it escapist if you like, but remember that the people who hate escape the most are jailers. Those who would have us believe that the grief and greed of this world are the Whole Story are jailers. They imprison the minds and souls of millions. Paul came as a messenger to remind us that Joy is the true state of things. Rejoicing just keeps us in step with this so that we will be prepared for the ecstasy of Heaven when we finally see it completely.