“Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.”
(Philippians 3:1, NLT)
In the early morning light, it was the one sentence that stood out from the entire passage. The author, Paul, continually reminds us to delight ourselves in the Lord, finding our joy and reason to rejoice in Christ.
Rejoicing comes easily at times, pouring out with hardly any effort at all. And then there are those other seasons of life, when it takes all we have to muster up the teeniest bit of praise.
We will face painful difficulties, some which we cannot explain, and in the midst of them – we can choose to rejoice in the Lord. I dare say, it is in those hardest of times we must choose to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul was writing to encourage the persecuted believers in Philippi as they faced difficulties and suffering for their faith. It is his words we often read to remind ourselves we can have joy in our lives regardless of the circumstances. Paul himself was in prison as he penned these words.
I found myself asking the following question: Why is this joy so important, critical even, to our life?
Paul, so wisely delivers the answer …
“I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”
(the remainder of verse 1)
We rejoice in the Lord in whatever happens because doing so will “safeguard our faith”. Joy will protect and keep our faith safe. It is the very means by which we journey with our faith intact, and ever growing, until we see our Savior face to face. Joy is our protection, and our defense, against those who would seek to lead us astray or tear down our faith in Christ.
Joy is not superficial happiness but is rooted in our relationship with the Lord and our faith in Him. Joy comes from knowing, assuredly, that no matter what happens in our life, God will use it all for our good and for His glory.
Joy transcends circumstances as it is found in Christ alone.
Christ is our life and therefore, Christ is our joy.
Lord, help me today and every day to rejoice in You. Not in what you do or can do, but solely in You and the blessing of your presence in my life every day. For surely, You alone are the greatest blessing. Amen.