The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV)
It’s easy to rejoice in the Lord when things in our life are going well. What about when things aren’t going well? He wrote in verse 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Always, is a key word in verse 4. When we learn to rejoice always, in good and bad times we will understand the peace that is always available in God, no matter the circumstances we are going through.
It’s only natural to ask how can I rejoice in the Lord when I or someone in my family is dealing with serious health issues, or when my car is broken and I don’t have the money to fix it. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells Joshua, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) The Lord is always with us, in good and bad times. We can find comfort in Him no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.
For many people, their natural tendency is to complain when things are going bad in their life. The Apostle Paul said in verse 5, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” We can do that when we rejoice that the Lord is always with us, even in bad times. Instead of complaining, we show gentleness to those around us.
When we go through difficult times in our life, we need to follow what he says in verse 6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. We need to go before the Throne of God in prayer and turn it all over to him. “Be anxious for nothing” means stop worrying. When we worry about our problems it does not fix them. Worry causes us stress, causes us to lose sleep, and affects our health.
When we turn our problems over to God, the results are found in verse 6, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Instead of worrying, we are filled with the peace of God. The peace of God is a total and complete peace. A peace that lets you sleep through the night even in the worst of times. He tells us that it surpasses all understanding. We don’t have to understand the power of God, we only need to trust Him.
Pastor Tim Hammond
Oak Street Baptist Church