Philippians 4

 

Scripture

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Observation – What does it say?

Rejoicing is a major theme in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In 3:1, he says, “Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” In other words, “Rejoice! Oh, and I’m going to keep telling you to rejoice. It doesn’t bother me to, and it’s actually good for you.” The Apostle Paul goes on to mention the word “rejoice” 8 times in this short letter. A command that was repeated so often, likely because rejoicing was something the Philippian believers, and some believers today (ahem), struggled with. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Rejoicing is just as necessary a part of our Christian journey as anything else!

In Luke’s account of the story of 2 sons (aka: The Prodigal Son) the father was determined to rejoice. And although both sons were uncomfortable for different reasons, he pleaded with them individually to come in and celebrate with him. Guess what? If we’re uncomfortable with rejoicing we’re going to be uncomfortable in heaven, because that’s what our Father is about!
 
In the Lord’s presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). We serve a God who is the source of joy, radiating it always, who loves to throw a party. And we are invited, commanded rather, to share in his joy! Not just in good times or when we feel like it, but as the Apostle Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

The joy of the Lord is our strength. Rejoicing creates a barrier around our faith; rejoicing glorifies God; rejoicing breathes force, passion and confidence into our confession of what we believe about God. And to be honest, rejoicing is, well, a lot more fun! The following adjectives cannot be used to describe a mature Christians: serious, irritable, mopey (think Eeyore), skeptical, negative. Rather, a sign of spiritual maturity is continual rejoicing!

Life Application

Rejoice!

Rejoicing in the Lord is our continual choice. We can choose to give into the drain of seeing our challenges and circumstances from a merely human perspective, or we can call our emotions into alignment with heaven.

God, thank you that because you are delighted in us who believe in you (regardless of our performance) we have freedom to share in your delight. Forgive us for the times we’ve chosen to give into negative emotions when you’ve offered joy. Today, we receive your joy! Help us to choose to walk in it regardless of circumstance. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
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