In a way, our battle with anxiety comes down to a few simple questions: do we believe God or not? Do we believe He is sovereign over our lives or not? In Phil. 4:4-7, we find Paul exhorting us to bring all things to the Lord in prayer at all times because He is a God we can trust absolutely.
Part 17 of a whole book study series called “Joy in Christ: A Study Through Philippians.”
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Remember — Paul was a prisoner awaiting trial that could potentially have led him to his death as he wrote this letter. And yet he still implores the Philippian believers to rejoice, despite his own personal circumstances; from a worldly standpoint, he had little cause for rejoicing!
In a certain sense, this exhortation to rejoice connects with Paul’s exhortation to rejoice in Philippians 3:1. And at the same time, it is part of his closing words and continues the thematic imperative to joy threaded throughout the letter.
It’s significant to reflect on the word always here. Consider: how difficult is it to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of a loss, grief, sickness, or other life chaos? Tough, right? We tend to let our emotions and feelings rule us in those times. It’s not that we shouldn’t have emotions and feelings; we were created with them. But we need the ability — based on our knowledge of God’s word — to be able to tell ourselves the biblical truth in spite of what we may feel at the time. We need constant reminders of what it is we have that goes beyond these temporal struggles and looks past these earthly pains. Continue reading →
Do you think to yourself, if I could just start with something small and prove myself faithful?!? I have been praying recently that each day God would give me just one opportunity to share Christ with another person — even in the smallest, tiniest, faintest of ways, but to at least bring Him up or bring scripture into a conversation.
“A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in the little things is a great thing.” — Hudson Taylor
And I prayed that He would give me the words and be there in the conversation so that it would not be in my own strength and power. Just as the Lord encouraged Zerubbabel in the rebuilding of the temple (Zech. 4:6 ESV), so I have been asking the Lord that it all be fueled by Him:
Grace and truth. These are terms we throw around a lot, but do we really know what they mean to us each day? Do we understand that our lives need to speak of both, not just one? Do we get the concept that God needs to balance the way in which we live out our lives with our desire to share the truth?
Grace is such a dynamic, rich word with a complexity of meaning. It is the means by which we were saved. It is the strength by which God preserves and guides us in this walk with Him. And it’s the way in which our life is lived in the reflection of that highest and most precious saving grace.
I once heard this metaphor from a pastor about this. He said, we are like birds who need two wings to fly. We need grace…and truth…and if one of our wings is weighted down on one side more than the other, it gets really hard to fly. Continue reading →