Good morning! At its’ height, the song Happy written by Pharrell Williams was sung by millions of people around the world. The tune even had a senator dancing to it. I guess the lyrics that read, “can’t nothing bring me down, my levels too high to bring me down” resonated with those who were doing a mind shift during the song – shaking off the things that were bringing them down. Today, as we read verses four through five in Philippians we will note that Apostle Paul talks about joy. Join me as we continue our reading in Philippians chapter four (4).
Bible verse – Philippians 4:4-5 NLT
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Apostle Paul is engaged in a series of moments within the letter where he is found encouraging the church at Philippi. Throughout the letter, Paul never drifted too far from the direction of encouragement, a call to improve character, or a push to keep moving forward in Christ.
In verse four Paul calls us to rejoice, he doesn’t call us to be happy – yes, there is a difference.
The word Happy according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
- favored by luck or fortune
- enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment
- enthusiastic about something to the point of obsession
The word rejoice according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
- to give joy to
- to feel joy or great delight
Apostle Paul was clearly the one who was credible to speak on the subject of rejoicing. During his imprisonment he had to speak from a dark place, but he was filled with hope because he knew the faithfulness of the Lord. He knew the key of being free in Christ daily was to rejoice no matter the circumstances because Christ was/is still on the throne.
Sisters and brothers, our brother in the faith Apostle Paul experienced horrible conditions and sadly I know many of the readers today have experienced or are experiencing very difficult situations in their lives, yet Paul called us to rejoice. He didn’t say be happy, he said rejoice because whatever you/we are facing the Lord is still with you/us and will bring you/us through.
Shortly before bed last night, I was struggling with a few things, my mind did not want to relinquish and I knew if I didn’t stop to check whatever was the root cause in my mind that I would be up all night. So I took off my earrings, placed my head down on the dresser and began to pray and walked a way rejoicing internally. I had to relinquish the worry that was trying to rob me of my peace and revert to scripture – trusting God’s promises for my situation. Whether the outcome is good or not as expected, I will trust the Lord and walk through this season rejoicing in the One who will not leave me. Yes, there are always pros and cons to life, but the greatest is the ability to rejoice in the One who is on the throne in all circumstances.
Paul calls us to always be full of joy in the Lord.
Sisters and brothers, I have a few questions for you to ponder:
- What are you going through?
- Where are you lacking joy in the Lord?
- Will you choose to make a mind shift and rejoice in the Lord despite your circumstance?
Father God, we thank you for the ability to rejoice in the Lord. We thank you for sending Jesus our Only hope in this world and in our personal seasons where we are challenged by the things we cannot control. Lord Jesus, we know that our lives would be empty without you, but praise God you are here with us – that you came to save us. Lord, Jesus the world tells us there are many things we should not rejoice in, but your word says always rejoice in You. Lord, we want to align our lives with Your word. Lord, shift our minds to always rejoice, to see you even in the darkest moments of our lives knowing and trusting that you will always be with us. Lord, we pray for those who are struggling today (e.g., mentally, financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually). Lord, we ask that you put your hand on their struggle and turn it around – In Jesus name. Lord, you know our hearts – will you penetrate our hearts and soften them to receive more of what you have for us. Lord, mature us in faith and in our actions so that we will be better aligned to your will and purpose for our lives. Lord, we surrender ourselves, our lives, and this day to you. Have your way. In Jesus name, amen.
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