“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Phil. 4:4-7
Great text huh?
Unless you don’t feel like rejoicing! But then Paul doesn’t give us the option. God directs Paul to command these Philippians (which means us as well) to REJOICE in the Lord always…and then he says it again…REJOICE. Well, what If I don’t feel like rejoicing? What if life is being hard and messy right now and rejoicing doesn’t make any sense? What if I just can’t muster the strength to rejoice?
Well, Paul is NOT saying, “Find a way.” He says do it. Does he know what he is talking about? Of course he does. The most physically abused man outside of Christ at the time knows what he is talking about. Between his abusers and his bad eye sight…he had more than enough reason NOT to rejoice…but his reasons to rejoice far outweighed the problems of this life.
For he knew something we all know…if we will only admit it…that there is always cause for rejoicing in Christ, even in times of affliction, distress, grief and persecution, since Jesus is always the same; His grace is always sufficient; His blood has a continual virtue in it, and His steadfast love never ceases. But we forget this unless and until we get back to His Word which is constantly reminding us of these graces which enables God through Paul to command us to rejoice in the Lord.
It is a matter of the will…but we have a renewed will with the inputting of His righteousness…so we can rejoice. You say, preacher, I don’t think this is true…then think about the amount of laughter and tears that occur at a loved ones funeral…think about how when you are in the midst of intense pain and suffering how a little child or a loving animal makes you smile even for a moment. It is within us through the power of the Holy Spirit but it is something we must cultivate through reading the Word and prayer…through being in Church even when you don’t want to be sitting under the Word of God and being with God’s people…and participating in the correct administration of the Sacraments…this is the best medicine and should be taken unless otherwise providentially hindered. So…
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say (it) Rejoice.”
God Bless y’all today.
In His Grip,