“PHILIPPIANS" Rejoice In The Lord Always! (4:4)
In the final chapter of Philippians, we find Paul giving exhortations that are both specific and general in nature...
We saw in verses 1-3 where Paul gave specific exhortations to individuals there at Philippi
Now in verse 4, we find the first of several exhortations which are certainly needful for all Christians:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
You may recall that "joy" is the keynote of this epistle. No less than sixteen times in this epistle, Paul uses the word or a derivation of it! Ph 1:4,18(twice),25; 2:2,17(twice),18(twice),28,29; 3:1;4:1,4(twice),10
THIS JOY IS TO BE EXPERIENCED "ALWAYS"
A. NOT JUST AN OCCASIONAL EXPERIENCE, FOR EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE...
1. But in darkness as well as in light; in trials as well as in triumphs -. Ja 1:2-3; Ro 5:3-4
2. Not just for apostles, but for all Christians – Ja 1:2-3; 1 Pe 4:12-13
B. CONSIDER THE EXAMPLE OF PAUL, WHO FOUND JOY "ALWAYS"...
1. In his prayers - Ph 1:4
2. In the proclamation of the gospel under adverse circumstances - Ph 1:18
3. In the unity of the saints - Ph 2:2
4. In the prospect of being a martyr for Christ - Ph 2:17
5. In the love of the brethren - Ph 4:10
THIS ABIDING JOY IS FOUND "IN THE LORD"
THERE MAY BE "TEMPORARY" JOY...in drugs, alcohol, sexual pleasures, material acquisitions, riches; these are all passing pleasures
BUT THE JOY THAT "ABIDES" IS ONLY "IN THE LORD"... I.e., that which comes from a personal, living and fruitful relationship with the Lord for "in the Lord" we enjoy:
a. Peace with God - Ro 5:2
b. Help in temptations - 1 Co 10:13; Ph 4:13
c. Assurance of God's companionship in time of trial He 13:5-6
These are the sort of things which provide a true and lasting joy
THERE ARE OFTEN HINDRANCES TO "ABIDING JOY"
MEMORIES OF PAST FAILURES; AWARENESS OF PRESENT FAULTS...
Many times people are left in a state of discouragement or depression Paul, however, provides the solution in
Ph 3:12-14 We need to realize our imperfection, yet press on to better things! and forget your past failures, & reach forward to future successes!
NATURAL TEMPERAMENT OR DISPOSITION...
Many people are naturally "melancholy" Through genetic predisposition toward such an attitude or through environmental influences as we were growing up & Yet in Christ, we can be transformed (Ro 12:1-2) and produce the "fruit of the Spirit" which includes "joy" - Ga 5:22
It is easy to be joyful when everything is going well, but when things wrong, well..However, we see from the Scriptures that even those times can be a time for rejoicing if we have the right "perspective" - Ja 1:2-4
SYMPATHY WITH OTHERS...
And yet, properly spoken words of comfort and counsel can provide a joyful reprieve from the hardships others bear - Pr 16:24
"Rejoice in the Lord always"...that the radiance of the Lord should overshadow the dark realities of life.
We need to make our relationship with the Lord that ought to be.first by rendering complete obedience to His Will. And then by letting His Holy Spirit-given Word to understand the perspectives necessary to
"Rejoice In The Lord Always!"