The Power of Rejoicing
By: Pastor Chris
Philippians 4:4 is one of my favorite scriptures. I am amazed by the fact that when Paul writes this letter to inspire the church at Philipi, he’s not on Capri Island or resting on the beautiful Carribean Islands. Instead he’s writing about joy from a dank and dark prison. He has every reason to be depressed and resentful, but instead he chooses to encourage the church to rejoice in the Lord. The apostle Paul did not write Philippians in response to a crisis as he did with Galatians and Colossians. Instead, he wrote to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers. My question to you is whether we, as Christians, make that same conscious effort to walk in joy regardless of the circumstances and situations we’re faced with on a daily basis.
Our responsibility as a Christian should always be to shine the light of Christ (Matt 5:13-16) in our workplace, at the grocery store, at the drive-thru, the Secretary of State (especially in super long lines…smile) and so many other places. In your uncomfortable or challenging times of life do you see God or do you question if He’s there at all? The Apostle Paul admonishes believers in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
What is true is that God always has your best interest at heart.
What is noble is that we must look at every test as an opportunity for us to grow and that we can withstand any test that God allows to come into our lives. I count it a joy that God has so much trust in my ability to carry out His great work! I pray that you envision and see every challenge the same way. There is not a test that you cannot overcome!!
What is just is that even when things seem to be unfair God, is righteous which means that He is vindicating me and fighting on my behalf. We worry about so many things in the world that are outside of our control. We must rest in assurance that God is sovereign. He does all things well. It is this right thinking that gives us strength in our most difficult times. Remain optimistic!
What is pure helps us safeguard our eyes, ears, heart, and mouth gates so that we can remain free from contamination and disentangled from the bondage of sin.
What is lovely is that life is full of intricate details that remind us that God takes delight in our existence. Please don’t take for granted the small things like the dew on roses, fresh spring grass, mid-summer rain, gleaming stars, puffy clouds, and the chirping of birds. I am just amazed by His love and His thought process in creating such wonderful things in nature for us to enjoy.
What is of good report will keep us from being overwhelmed by all of the bad news in the world. Don’t watch the evening news right before you go to bed. It will depress you. Find those good testimonies and stories; find some good news and celebrate it.
Remember, joy is not about everything going well, but it’s about knowing that everything is working out for our good. Each day make an intentional effort to experience the joy of the Lord. Live beyond your feelings. Joy is a decision. When joy is sought outward it remains elusive, but when you embrace that it’s an inward discovery rooted in your knowledge of who God is; life truly becomes full and abundant.
What event has tried to steal your joy lately? What steps can you take to help bring resolve to that situation? My challenge to you is that no matter what comes your way this week, make it a point to find a positive in the midst of the negative. Take the Apostle Paul’s advice to rejoice in the Lord. You can be as fulfilled as you choose to be, so choose joy!
2 CORINTHIANS 9:7
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