After exhorting the two sisters of the Philippian Church to unite (Philippians 4:1-3), Paul wrote how Christians should behave in their daily lives.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
Paul tells the people of the Philippian church, “Rejoice” (v. 4). “Joy” is a major theme in the book of Philippians. “Rejoice” appears more than ten times in this short letter.
If our joy depends on circumstances, we will not be happy all the time. This command from God cannot be obeyed. This letter was written by Paul from prison, but I don’t think Paul was emotionally happy that he was in prison. But Paul was able to rejoice “in the Lord.” “In the Lord Jesus Christ,” being in Jesus Christ and having a living, personal relationship with Him enabled Paul to rejoice. Paul had experienced this kind of joy himself, and he is asking the people of the Philippian church to do the same. The modern church, recommended to us as well.
Joy here means to have joy that is not influenced by the surrounding circumstances or environment. In fact, the environment in which Paul was put was in prison, and it was the worst possible situation. But Paul was able to rejoice. Pleasure only when conditions are favorable does not last long. Because there will be bad times in life and there will almost always be trials. We only rejoice when we can, when the cause of our joy is outside of us. Happiness comes from outside. For example, status, title, public reputation, comparison with other people, etc. This kind of joy can be said to be a fragile thing that changes depending on the surrounding environment and people around us.
But Paul’s command to “rejoice” seeks the cause of joy within ourselves. Joy wells up in our heart. In the church of Philippi, there must have been Christians who lived in joy and sorrow because of the events that happened every day. Such a person is characterized by high ups and downs. When things are going well, they praise the Lord with Hallelujah, but when things go wrong, they quickly become depressed, sometimes leaving the church, and sometimes even God.
If we live by relying on external pleasures, we run the risk of becoming slaves to the environment, to public opinion. There is no real freedom there. It seems to be free, but in fact it is not free. However, even if the environment is bad, if joy overflows from within, then isn’t that true freedom?
Of course, we are weak, so there are times when we are not happy when we see reality. But deep down, we can rejoice. Because we are made in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and we have the joy of salvation. We can rejoice because we know that our citizenship is in heaven and that our names are written in the book of life. I believe that being able to rejoice even in the midst of hardships is true joy.
One of the things given when the Holy Spirit is poured out is “joy.” Galatians 5:22,23 says The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control. And Romans 14:17 says that the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit .
We can always rejoice “in the Lord”. We can rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be “in the Lord”? I think it means that we have a personal and living relationship with the Lord Jesus. It means that we are connected to the Lord Jesus in the spiritual realm, deep in our heart, not in our head. It is a state of believing in Jesus Christ, putting faith in the Lord Jesus, and trusting in Christ. I am convinced that my life is supported by this person. I think that is what is expressed in the phrase “in the Lord.”
“You will be persecuted, you will have many hardships, but you trust in the Lord Jesus, aren’t you?” The apostle Paul recommended to the Philippian church. This is what God is saying to the modern church as well. ⅠThessalonians 5:16-18 says Always rejoice in . Pray unceasingly. Be grateful for all things. That is what God wants us to do in Christ Jesus.
The key to maintaining joy is not worrying (v. 6). So what do we do when we get overwhelmed? Paul writes. The Bible says “ By prayer and petition, let your requests be known to God ” (verse 6).
I think we worry about various things in our daily lives. At that time, it is easy to lose joy. At that time, we should turn our anxieties and worries into prayers. Even small things are okay. For it is written, “in all cases” (v. 6). It’s written in 1 Peter 5:7. Cast all your worries on God. because God cares about you.
First, we pray with gratitude. Why should we be grateful? Because the Lord is good, he loves us, and we can trust that he will do the best for us.
We pray and let God know what we want. This means speaking out. Jesus asked the blind man Bartimaeus. ” What do you want me to do? ” (Mark 10:51). Isn’t this obvious? But let him open his mouth and confess. Bartimaeus answered. ” It is to see ” (Mark 10:51), and his eyes were healed and he was able to see.
To develop a personal relationship with God, we need to have a conversation with Him. Read the Bible first. Listen to a sermon, study the bible. In this way, we come into contact with God’s Word, the Bible, hear God’s Word, and know God’s wishes and commands.
Then we respond to God through prayer. We would also like to know our wishes. Then our prayers will be answered. God answers our prayers. “ The peace of God that surpasses all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus ” (verse 7) .
God will give us peace. Anxiety is removed, and the troubled mind and thoughts are protected. It is beyond human thoughts and ideas. We are preserved in the Lord and in Christ Jesus. We can rejoice “in the Lord” and be protected “in the Lord.”