Have you been challenged to feel joyful? The apostle Paul went beyond “Be Joyful” to emphatically “Rejoice” Even In Trial!
This man who faced danger and death repeatedly, hunger, cold, wrote to encourage people who were free while he was a captive in a Roman prison (opposed, alone, imprisoned not for harming others but for giving them hope through Jesus), “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Phil 4:4 NIV
Paul’s joy was not held hostage by his present situation but dependent on who Christ is. Amidst uncertainty or trial, there is certainty and victory in the Lord.
1. Jesus is near. (Phil 4:5)
2. All causes for anxiety can be turned into prayers (V6) and can be said with advanced thanksgiving by faith that Jesus knows everything, has power over everything, is present everywhere, is for us, He will allow only what has passed through the filter of His love and will work everything out (even trials) for our good.
3. Fixing our eyes on all the good that the Lord has already done and given —- the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (v8)— ushers in and magnifies joy.
4. Paul’s example and exhortation to triumph in joy despite trials sounds great but to experience it, he says we need to put these lessons into practice (v9).
If this subject interests you, here’s a great article on it by Brian Tabb:
“We rejoice because Jesus has decisively delivered us from sin’s penalty and one day will completely deliver us from its reality.” – Brian Tabb