Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

As Paul wraps up his God-breathed letter to the church at Philippi, he gives them a list of three reminders as they continue walking with the Lord. He tells them, first, to live in peace with one another. It seems two ladies had gotten cross-ways with one another, and it was causing issues in the church. Paul addresses these two beloved women and begged them to agree in the Lord.

The third reminder was for the Philippians to set their minds on things above. “…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” So, Paul said, we ought to discipline our minds to contemplate only godliness.

The middle exhortation that Paul gave was to rejoice always. It’s in this rejoicing that we have the peace of God promised to us. We rejoice because we know that “The Lord is at hand.” Because of His nearness, we are not to worry or be anxious about things. And, it’s because of His constant presence that we can rejoice.

I’m going to confess something to you. I’ve been around Christians my whole life, and I would not use the word “joy” or “rejoicing” to describe most of us. In fact, often, Christians can be the biggest complainers I know. You may right now be thinking of the one or two or six Christians who are extremely joyful, saying, “What are you talking about, Preacher? I know some joyful Christians.” The funny thing is, rejoicing always should mark all of us Christ-followers.

Our lack of rejoicing indicates, among other things, that we really are anxious about lots of stuff. Our prayerlessness and thanklessness mark us because we don’t pray and trust. And, we don’t pray and trust because we don’t really believe that the Lord is at hand. At the end of the day, we act out our true beliefs.

So, let’s reaffirm our belief that Jesus is Lord and He is near! Let’s pray for all things with thanksgiving and supplication. Let’s really be anxious for nothing. Let’s enjoy the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. And, let us REJOICE!
In Him,
Pastor Jim