Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4
Periods of prosperity make it easy for us to be happy, hopeful and content. Those good times often trick us into believing that we are faithfully following Paul’s instructions to ‘rejoice in the Lord.’ But are we really doing what the scripture says if joy is our response only when life is on the upswing? What about now… when life is very uncertain, when all our plans are disrupted, and the future looks more unstable than most of us can ever remember?
Test yourself. How much joy is flowing from your heart in these moments? If complaints, worry and anxiety have set the cadence of your thoughts and actions, then maybe it’s time to re-examine what Paul really said in this passage.
No where in scripture are we told to base our contentment on the status of things around us. In fact, Paul penned these words from a jail cell that by any reasonable standard erased his personal comfort, limited his ability to fulfill his church building mission, and frustrated his goals. Yet through all this, he continued to rejoice. He realized (just as we can) that when all we depend on in this world evaporates, we can still “rejoice in the Lord” because our God never changes. It’s when we anchor ourselves to His immovable nature that we can know peace, contentment, and yes, even joy … regardless of what happens around us!