November 18, 2022

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!”  (Philippians 4:4)


These words of Paul, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” may, at times, seem impossible given the circumstances we find ourselves in. Yet, if we ponder and meditate on them closely, we as Christ-followers always have one thing we can “rejoice in.” It does not matter if we have lost every material possession, all that we once called friends, and even our physical health. There is one thing that cannot be taken from us by any life circumstance. This is the fact that we are “in the Lord.” He has saved us, redeemed us, resurrected us from the ashes, lifted us out of the miry pit, freed us from the bondage of sin, and sealed us by his Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our salvation.  Because we are “in the Lord,” this list goes on and on. We are in Him, and He is in us, and the Father holds it all together in His hands. We can always rejoice in being “in the Lord” regardless of what is happening around us and what is happening to us. Neither the scheme of man nor the enemy can take this away from us.  


Paul was under house arrest, being watched by Roman guards when he penned these words. This attitude of rejoicing in the Lord was his attitude toward life which he hoped would overflow to others. In verse 9 of this same chapter, he dared to say, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Basically, he was saying, “Imitate me!” Regardless of what he faced in life, he had this one thing to cling to; he was in the Lord and had that to rejoice in. He hoped to impart that to those he discipled through his letter to the Philippians, even while guarded by Roman soldiers in his home.   


Up to that point in Paul’s life, he had been through every danger and hardship you could imagine. Yet, he wrote these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always!” It takes someone who has found his security “in the Lord” to say such a thing. Many more perils and prison followed this period of his life, ultimately ending in his death in the Lord.  When he closed his eyes in death and opened them on the other side, the first thing he saw was the face of Jesus. Imagine his rejoicing then, always, and for eternity.   


My brothers and sisters, if we imitate Paul, then the rejoicing doesn’t begin after our death; it begins the moment we follow Jesus every step of the way, regardless of the circumstances, always and into eternity! If this is the modus operandi of our life, then like Paul, we can say to others who are in the Lord, “Rejoice in the Lord always;  I will say it again…”





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