A Sign of a Believer
Do you know anyone who never seems to let anything get them down? They just seem to have a joy that oozes out of them. Are they Christ Followers?
Do you know anyone who seems to never be happy or in a good mood? They go through life seeming down most of the time. Are they Christ Followers?
As we discuss Verse 4 today we are going to be talking a lot about the joy of salvation in the Lord. Remember that this is the Foundational Layer in our Plan for Decompression.
Philippians 4:4 ESV
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As we often do, we will also be looking at this verse in the Amplified Bible.
Let’s begin breaking it down:
“Rejoice…” ESV & AMP
What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord? What does it mean to have joy?
Joy is an antonym (opposite) for grief and sorrow. It is happiness or gladness.
To rejoice is to act in that joy or even to rejuvenate it or stir it up.
“…in the Lord…” ESV & AMP
“…delight, gladden yourself in Him…” AMP adds.
To rejoice in the Lord is to act on the joy that He put in us when He brought us to salvation. As believers in Christ, we have a permanent source of joy inside us – the joy of the Lord – because the Holy Spirit came to live in our hearts when God brought us to faith. Think of all His benefits. Think about the fact that you are His child – joint heirs with Jesus. You get to live in fellowship with Him now in this life and for all eternity when this life is done. That is so much bigger than anything else.
We need to remind ourselves of the helpless state we were in before God intervened and brought us to Himself! and rejoice!!
In Spite of Hard Things
Of course, hard things happen. We suffer losses and see people do terrible things to each other. People get hurt or sick. Life is hard and we are not going to stand back dancing a jig because God has intervened in our lives every minute of every day. But, we can have that joy deep inside us as we face hard things. We will be able to hold onto that joy, His joy, and He will carry us through.
He Carries Us
Many years ago, I knew a lovely Christian woman who was a breast cancer survivor. While I was going through my bought with it, She encouraged me. She sent me at least one note a week. She was such a huge blessing to me. Sometime soon after I had healed from my surgeries, they found cancer in her back. It was inoperable. I was so sad for her – not because she was going to die unless God intervened – but because of what she was going to have to go through before she died. We have all seen those long hard battles.
I went to visit her one day when she had gotten to the point of being in bed all the time. She was so full of peace and she just glowed with the joy of the Lord. Even then she was beautiful because I could see Him carrying her through it all.
So we are told to do this all the time. We do not get a day off from living in the joy of the Lord and our lives are better for it!
“…again I will say, rejoice.”
Repetition always means emphasis in God’s Word. These words are written by Paul the Apostle but God inspired him to write them. This is God’s Word just as much as when Jesus Christ, Himself, is speaking.
So what do we do with this?
We need to remember that as Christ Followers, saved by the grace and mercy of God, have been given an amazing thing! New life! Even on our worst day, God’s greatness is evident all around us and we belong to Him. That is great news, the best news!! AND joy counteracts stress!!!
This Foundational Layer is the base for the rest of this passage and we will continue tomorrow with our Plan for Decompression.
Thank You, Lord, for Your beautiful Word. I do rejoice in You today! I ask You that as we study this passage that we see it is a way of dealing with stress, but mostly it is simply Your will for us. Help us to be what You want us to be. May we glorify You with our lives. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: