by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4).
1Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God.
19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
23The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Dear Reader, have you ever noticed how often we are exhorted in the Bible to rejoice? And surely Christians have every reason to rejoice. But is it not true that we often feel discouraged, and are fearful and sorrow fills our heart? Yes, but it is still true that we should rejoice. For, no matter what happens, we can still rejoice in our salvation. We are saved, and God loves us, and nothing can separate us from his love. Our names are written in heaven, and our salvation is sure.
But you say, Did not Jesus say, "In the world ye shall have tribulation?" And Paul, that "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Yes, but Jesus says, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." And Paul says, "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." Listen to what the prophet Habakkuk says, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." So may the joy of the Lord be our strength. And we may look forward to that fulness of joy in God's presence, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Our Father, we must confess before Thee, that often, instead of rejoicing, we are inclined to complain, or even to murmur. Forgive us we pray. Help us to see how wonderfully and how richly Thou hast blessed us. And where we do not see, when Thy Word tells us of all the invisible blessings which Thou hast promised unto us, help us to believe, and help us to rejoice in them, and be thankful for them. And help us always to be resigned unto Thy holy will. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Rom 8:39; Luke 10:20; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Cor. 6:10; Heb. 3:17, 18; Neh. 8:10; Ps. 16:11; 1 Pet. 1:8.
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