The Bible says in Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. One of the greatest reasons to rejoice had just been given in the last part of the previous verse: Philippians 4:3. It said, Whose names are in the book of life. If your name is in the book of life, then no matter what else happens to you, you always have a great reason to rejoice. Jesus taught the same thing. He said, Rejoice not that the demons are subject unto you. Rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
We should rejoice that our names are written in heaven because there is nothing greater that could ever happen to any of us. The most important thing in the world concerns our eternal destiny. Jesus said, What should it profit a man should he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? If your soul is saved, no one can ever take that away from you. Therefore, once you have been saved, every day you have the greatest reason possible to rejoice. Hopefully, you have learned every day to rejoice in your salvation and to be thankful for your salvation.
Of course, there are many other things to rejoice about. We could never name all of them, but lets name a few. Thats a good habit to get into. Its very therapeutic. It has the same effect as counting ones blessings. We can always rejoice because of Who God is. He is the great all-powerful God, the One who can do anything at any time. Since God can do anything, He can do anything in my behalf. Thats why Jesus said that with faith all things are possible to us. We can rejoice because God is everywhere. In Him we live and move and have our being. We cannot escape from the presence of God: nor would we want to. This is always a reason to rejoice. We have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Jesus said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
We can rejoice because God is faithful and true. God has made many precious promises to His children, and God always keeps His promises. God cannot lie. If we know His promises and if we think about them, we will always have this ready store of things to rejoice about. Think of some of the great promises of God. We have the promise of forgiveness. I John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We have the promises of salvation. Jesus said, All that come to me, I will in no wise cast out. Romans 10:9 says, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. We have the promises that God will always take care of us. Jesus said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. We have the promise of Romans 8:28 that there is a reason for everything and that God will make everything turn out just fine for us. Romans 8:28 says, We know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are the called according to His purposes. We can even rejoice through our tears when bad things happen because we know there will be a good result to them.
Its easy to understand why the Bible says, Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice. We are told what to do and when to do it. Christian people should be and can be the happiest people in the world. We have more to rejoice about than anyone. When you get up each morning, as you make your plans for the day, prepare yourself to rejoice in your heart and in your mind and in your soul. In this verse rejoice is expressed as a command. We are commanded to rejoice. Its our choice. We can do it, if we put our minds to it and look at things the right way. Notice that we are told to rejoice in the Lord. We are not told to rejoice in our circumstances, or to rejoice in other people, or to rejoice in what happens to us. We are told to rejoice in the Lord.
In Philippians 4:5 the Bible says, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Rejoicing in the Lord speaks a great deal to our personal relationship with the Lord. Of course, while we are in this world we also must be mindful of how our behavior affects the people around us. The first phrase in this verse, Let your moderation be known unto all men, is very similar to the teaching that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, Let you light so shine before men.
In both verses there is an emphasis that must be made upon the first word, Let. It means to allow and to permit your light to shine. One of the temptations that we will all have from time to time is to hide our light and to not let it shine. There are often pressures from the philosophies of the world and from the hardness of hearts to just keep certain things to ourselves. But remember that one of the reasons that God left you on the earth after He saved you was so that you would be a witness for Him. What is one of the most important things to do in order to be a witness in this world? Dont hide your light. In the decisions that you make, simply allow it to shine. Some believers through fear hide their light and do not let it shine when they could have.
Let your moderation be known to all men. The word moderation in the Greek is a word that means gentleness, patience, or kindness. Many people in the world are aggressive, unkind, and even cruel in their dealings with others. Of course, Christians should not be. One of the most important ways that you will be a witness will be the way that you come across to people when you deal with them. You might go to church and read your Bible, but you will not be a witness to your neighbor, if when you interface to them you do not have the attitude of kindness that this Bible verse is talking about. Your personality and character need to have moderation in every aspect possible or you will not be the witness that you otherwise should be.
A reason is given for Christians to be concerned with being a good witness in this world. The reason is: The Lord is at hand. This phrase has a two-fold meaning. The Lord is at hand because He may come at any moment. One practical consequence to this is the fact that the time may be short. Your neighbor may not have next year to hear the gospel and get saved. The end may come today. It may come sooner than anyone realizes.
The phrase the Lord is at hand also refers to the closeness of the Lord. The Lord is near at hand. Let you light shine because in any situation the Lord is near at hand to touch someones heart and to use you as a witness to help do that. Thats the work of the Lord: saving the souls of mankind. Sometimes when you are least aware of it Jesus is actually working in the heart of someone because He is always at hand.
Philippians 4:6 says, Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. These next couple of verses are the great solution for freedom from worry or anxious care. If you are troubled by worries of any kind, you do not need a prescription from a doctor for the problem. The Bible gives you the prescription right here. Of course, there is a universal tendency for human beings to worry. Humans worry about the future, they worry about money, they worry about the necessities of life, they worry about their personal safety, and they worry about their relationships. We could create a vast list of things that humans sometimes worry about. Of course, this is more evidence of how much people need God. Concerning the things that we worry about, is the all-powerful God able to deal with them? Yes, He is, and the way for you to be confident that everything in your life is in Gods hands, is to pray about them. If a Christian is worrying about something, the cause of the worry may very well be that the Christian has not prayed about that thing and made sure to put it in Gods hands. If things are left in your hands, then you have reason to worry because you are finite and limited in many ways. But if things are put into Gods hands, then there is no reason to worry because He can do anything. The Bible does not tell us in Philippians 4:6 to pray about some things. It tells us to pray about everything.
Worry and prayer have a direct relationship to each other, and the proper amount of prayer has a very direct consequence. Philippians 4:7 says, And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. You cannot understand the peace of God and you cannot explain it. But you can have peace through Christ Jesus and through prayer. There is a difference between the peace of God as described here in Philippians and peace with God as described in Romans 5:1 that says, Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In order to have peace with God a person must become justified by faith. To be justified by faith refers to being saved, being born again, and being forgiven of ones sins through Jesus Christ. Surrender to God and to His will takes place when a person has this experience. When a person refuses to surrender to the will of God, that person in a certain way resists and opposes God. In a sense such a person is at war with God. That explains a lot of things as to why some people in this world are so opposed to Christianity and the spread of the gospel. Of course, what is needed is for each person to make their peace with God. If they come to Christ, they will have peace with God.
But some people who have come to Christ at some time in their life do not often enough have the peace of God. If so, its because they are not following closely enough the admonition to pray about everything that is given in Philippians chapter 4. Jesus said to His believers, My peace I give unto you. Through Christ you can know the peace that your heart longs for. Its a wonderful thing to be saved. You can have peace with God, and you can have the peace of God.
Prayer is much more than asking God for things. Its also believing God about them. Thats why Philippians 4:6 says, By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let you requests be made known unto God. Thanksgiving is such a valid reason for prayer that some prayers can be made up of thanksgiving only, without any requests. You can thank God for all of the things that He has already done for you, and you can thank God concerning the things that you know He will do for you in the future. Many of the things that perhaps you ask for, God is going to give you anyway. Before you ask, He already knows what you have need of, and He has promised to give you everything that you need. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Some people do not have the peace of God because they do not pray or they do not pray about all of the things in their life. Others do not have the peace of God because they do not pray with thanksgiving. According to Philippians 4:6, we must pray and we must pray with thanksgiving in order to have the peace of God. To pray with thanksgiving implies that we are believing when we pray. Its one thing to pray, but its another thing to pray and then to believe that God is going to do something in response to your prayers.
Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Jesus said in Matthew 21:22, Whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. You may have prayed, but have you prayed, believing? If you pray and then go right back to worrying, that means that you did not pray, believing.
Once again the Bible proves its great practical value and its great truthfulness. Worry is one of the plagues of mankind. You can live every day free from worry, if you remember and put into practice Philippians 4:6-7. It says, Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Copyright; 2001 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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