Philippians 4:4-9 (JDV)
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:5 Let your restraint be known to every human. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:8 Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:9 Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
We don’t always feel joyful. How can we rejoice always? Is it even possible? Sometimes we feel like being joyful, but it is like the joy is locked up inside us, and we cannot free it.
Paul’s advice for the Philippians is not a generic joy, but a specific, particular joy. Paul told them to rejoice in the Lord always. How do we unlock this kind of joy? Here are some guidelines:
- Joy in the Lord is not ecstatic, unbridled emotion. It is joy characterized by restraint.
- Joy in the Lord comes from hearts and minds guarded by peace.
- Joy in the Lord comes from dwelling on morally excellent and praiseworthy things.
- Joy in the Lord comes from following the good example of spiritual leaders.
Lord, help us to live right, so that we can be joyful always.