Devotional, New Testament, Philippians

Rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4: 4-9)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Philippians 4: 4-9 ESV

“Rejoice!”- this word didn’t come from someone who was living in his dream house, or someone who has received a big bonus check from his job.   It came from Paul, who was in prison and in chains.  Paul had to face many trials and difficulties in his life, but the book of Philippians is filled with joy!  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” was the advice Paul gave to the brothers and sisters right after he entreated the two sisters to agree in the Lord .  Paul was not giving  this command to a problem-free church, nor are we reading this while we are living in a trouble-free world.   We live in a fallen world with inevitable hardships and challenges.  In fact, Jesus also told us that in the world there will be tribulations (John 16:33).  How do we rejoice always when the world is not always perfect?  How did Paul do it when he was in chains?  His secret is “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”. (v6) We can rejoice in the Lord always through prayer!  God knows everything about us before we say a word. Therefore praying to God is not a mean to give Him the information He needs, but it’s a channel for us to bring our thanksgiving and needs to Him. And in return, the Bible says we’ll receive peace of God that surpasses all understanding.  It’s like a child who is afraid of the dark at night, and he would call his mom to his room.  When his mom hears him and goes to his room and stays with the child, the child becomes calm and at peace again.  The room is still dark, but the child is not scared anymore because his mom is there with him.  When we pray and bring our requests to God, sometimes it may not change the situation, but what changes is our heart.  Through prayer, the God of peace is with us (v9)!  That’s right! We receive not only the peace of God that transcends all understanding, but the God of peace, who is the source of everything we need! Like a mom being there for her child in the dark, His presence makes a huge difference in everything we are facing!  How precious and amazing that we have a God who cares to listen when we pray, and a God who is so powerful and loving to be with us and to give us peace.  We can rejoice because the God of peace is with us, always!

Dear Lord, thank you for being with me. You are the source of joy and peace. Though I don’t live in a perfect world, I do have an almighty and perfect God, who is always with me. You are the reason for me to rejoice! Help me to rejoice in You, always, Lord!

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