A Reason for Rejoicing
“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 4:7
Standing alone, this Scripture’s meaning is clear. We should be rejoicing in the Lord all the time. But the context from which it is written gives us a profound look into the Apostle Paul’s heart and helps us to understand how Jesus, even when dying, could still find the strength to pray, “Father, forgive them…” These are words spoken in the midst of overwhelming circumstances, especially for Jesus.
Paul was in prison in Rome in a dungeon, void of light, reeking of the stench of sewerage, death and decay. He was in chains with no adequate clothing for the coldness of his cell and hoping in faith, but not knowing when he would ever see the light of day again. From this place he writes to the Church at Philippi admonishing them to rejoice! [Philippians]
Today read aloud Paul’s great letter to the Philippians It would do well if you would read the entire chapter aloud and let the message unfold in your hearing as it may have to the Philippian Church as it was read to them.