Pastor Dominic Cardamone
Rejoicing is a prevailing theme in the book of Philippians. God wants it to be a prevailing theme in the lives of His followers as well. Philippians 4:4 is an excellent verse that highlights the encouragement of the Apostle Paul to the Philippian believers about rejoicing in the Lord. Let’s see what nuggets of truth we can glean from this verse.
Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
There are certain characteristics or features that should be true of the children of God. Paul is telling the believers here to rejoice because they as the recipients of God’s grace should be joyful people. This gladness and joy should be manifest in their lives. What features are on display in our lives? Complaining? Gossip? Gripping? Criticizing? Etc. God cares about the features we exhibit. Let one of those features be rejoicing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16, "Rejoice evermore."
Psalms 33:1, "Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright."
If you look around long enough, you will find good reason not to rejoice. That’s why we are directed to rejoice “in the Lord.” True, lasting joy is found in the Lord (not in pleasure, power, prestige, wealth, health, ease, etc.). On the Lord is where our focus must be. Circumstances and situations change, people disappoint, but God is constant and never fails. It’s easy to rejoice when I consider Him and how He impacts my life.
Psalms 94:19, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."
Psalms 104:34, "My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD."
1 Samuel 30:6, "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."
Rejoicing is something we can neglect. The Philippians were encountering adversaries and experiencing suffering for the Lord’s sake. They were no doubt feeling discouraged because of it and Paul was writing to encourage them to keep on rejoicing. Paul’s admonishment was to rejoice at all times and in all conditions. Because God is good, constant, and in control, we can rejoice in good times and in bad times. There should never be a season of our lives when we are not rejoicing in the Lord.
Psalms 34:1, "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalms 35:28, "And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long."
Paul repeats himself at the end of the verse, “and again I say, rejoice.” It was as if Paul was saying, “I said it before, I say it now, and I will say it again.” He is repetitive for the purpose of being emphatic. He doesn’t want us to miss the importance of this feature in our lives. He is fervent about rejoicing and he wants his audience to be as well. We can be swallowed up by grief, discouragement, sorrow, etc. If we are not careful, the devil can use the absence of rejoicing in our lives to hinder us in our effectiveness for the cause of Christ. However, when we choose to rejoice in and focus on the Lord, all that He has done for us, and how He desires to use us for His purposes, we are strengthened in the inner man.
Nehemiah 8:10, "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."