The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/12/2008

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Do You Need A Reason To Rejoice

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! (Phil. 4:4)

Some of you might know that the book of Philippians is my favorite book in the Bible, and chapter four is my favorite chapter. The high-spirited encouragement Paul gave his readers came with a cloud of death hanging over his head (Phil.1:21-24). Despite that, he rejoiced. Joy would reinforce the imperatives that he set before his readers.

First, Paul urged them to dwell on the positive. Christ had redeemed His people. That was reason enough to be joyful. But in the meantime, Christians live in the real world. The world of disease, problems, struggles, and discouragement with everyone else. A world where even Christians struggle with temptations. Paul is aware of the hardships, but nothing should dampen their joy. The blessings far outweigh the hardships.

Second, let others fuss and fume when they suffer injustice. Gentleness, (v5) is the rule for Christians. They are to tamp down anger and vengeance with the promise that God is just. Cruelty and injustice are for God to avenge. When Paul said, "The Lord is at hand," is vs 5, he set the tone for believers for the next 2,000 years. In the meantime, Christians are to live gentle lives.

Third, in this age, material security is fleeting. Turn your anxieties over to the Lord. Jesus put it this way in Matt. 6:27, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Paul said, "Be anxious for nothing" (v6) This was not to say that believers are to sit back and wait for God to provide each meal and article of clothes. The Bible teaches industry and hard work. Having done our best, Christians place their well-being in the hands of God. We should petition Him and trust that He will hear. When God answers prayer, the believers intermingle petitions and thanksgiving.(V6)

With this mindset, Paul says that the outcome is the peace of God. Knowing the Savior and trusting Him produce a serenity of the soul that is hard to verbalize. Christianity doesn't always come out like a ledger sheet with neat zeros at the end. Understanding the joy and peace of a life in Christ may even be hard to express to oneself.

Some of the blessings of Christ can only be realized through the experience of being redeemed, talking to Him in prayer, and casting our cares upon Him. Words just are not adequate to express the joy....It is the peace that passes understanding. A reason to rejoice? There is reason each moment of the day....

Have a great day....Make a difference....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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