BIBLE READING: Philippians 3
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord………
What a simple encouragement from Paul. Now Paul was getting ready to let them know of some things that they’re going to have to watch, fight against, and stand firm through in the following verses. Paul was going to be sharing with him that the journey with Christ is not always an easy one and there are struggles that come our way. But Paul also wanted them to remember to rejoice in the Lord.
What does the word rejoice mean? It means to replay, rehearse, or rebuild a joy that was already there. It means that there is a joy that God puts in our life at the moment of salvation, but many things can happen along the way to overshadow that joy. Circumstances can get us to the point where we no longer remember or practice the joy that we have in Christ. So, Paul reminds them once again to rejoice in Christ.
Notice also what Paul did not say. Paul did not say to rejoice in circumstances. That would be OK if they were good circumstances, but if they are bad circumstances, then there would be no reason to rejoice. I am very thankful that I do not have to rejoice in my circumstances, because my circumstances are not always good.
Paul did not say rejoice and be mean. Now there are certainly people in our lives that bring joy to us, but there are also some people in our lives that will kill the joy in our lives. People can really disappoint you. People can really break your heart. People can really let you down. Therefore, we are not to rejoice in people, because if we did, our joy would not last.
Paul did not say rejoice in your accomplishment. Now there are some accomplishments in your life I’m sure that brought you joy when you accomplished them. But if you’re like me, I’ve also had many failures in my life. And if my accomplishments dictated my joy, then there would be many times in my life where joy would be missing.
I could obviously give you more examples, but Paul said to rejoice in the Lord. That means that even when circumstances are bad, I can have joy. That means even when people let me down and hurt me, I can have joy. That means even when I have failed and I have blown it, I can have joy. Because our Lord never changes, we can always have joy in our life, even when everything else going wrong.