Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Philippians 4:4-6
Rejoice in the Lord
Here we read the early church is encouraged to rejoice in the Lord always and to not to be anxious. That feels like an impossible goal to reach. It would seem more practical for the writer, Paul, to say, “rejoice in the Lord some times…be anxious about some things.” That is not what he says. He uses the words always and anything.
How can that be realistic to us while we are living in a day and age when everything is in flux around us?
Prayer. Pray about everything. Stresses, anxieties, unemployment, family needs, sickness, death, everything. Bring it to God with thanksgiving.
Why with thanksgiving?
Paul reminds the church that, “The Lord is at hand.” Another way to read this verse is “That the Lord is coming soon.”
Paul wants to shift the reader’s view from current pains, fears, and struggles to the hope found in the good news of Jesus Christ, the salvation he freely gives, and the reality that he will be returning soon to bring his followers home.
As we are being directed to spend more time in isolation, spend extended talking to God. Pray about your needs, needs of others, and rejoice in the Lord because of the eternal hope Jesus freely offers.
Let Paul’s encouragement to another church summarize how we need to respond when life is hard.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Romans 12:12
Questions to Consider
- Where do you sense anxiety in your life right now and will you give that over to God in prayer?
- Are you currently rejoicing in the hope that is found in Jesus Christ?
- Can you reach out to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker and ask if they need prayer during this time?