Sermons

Summary: Message focuses on how we can be joyful in this world. (Thanksgiving Message)

Rejoice! Seven Words to Live By

Philippians 4:4-9

Pastor Don Jones

Introduction

The last few weeks we have been looking at God’s Word concerning the abundant life. Stand on the solid rock Jesus Christ, love the Lord, love others, and today rejoice. Philippians 4:4 says,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Paul can’t be serious. In today’s world he wants us to rejoice? You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t feel like rejoicing. Like many of you I roll out of bed and my joints and muscles ache to the point of screaming. When I get rid of one thing, some new problem raises its ugly head. Raise your hand this morning if you are dealing with a physical, mental, or emotion problem in your life.

Can you believe it? We are being asked, no, commanded to rejoice. And in case we didn’t get it the first time He says it again, rejoice. How dare him! He couldn’t have possibly known what we were going through today.

The apostle Paul, sure, like he knows anything about our woe. He was taken care of by the State, the Roman Empire, round the clock guards, living in palaces, in chains, that he had to pay for, what could he possibly known about pain and suffering in this world. And that thing he had a problem with, God said His grace was sufficient.

Well, ok, maybe he did know a thing or two about suffering but to command us to rejoice, there must be some mistake. Let’s read it together this time.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

The command found here is to rejoice. This is not the first time he has said these words. In Philippians 3:1 he says,

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!

Seven Words

Again, rejoice is a command. The Greek construct of the sentence and the imperative tense of the verb "rejoice" can be interpreted no other way but that we are being commanded to rejoice. Just like love the Lord and others, this too is a command.

Paul is telling us we can rejoice in our lives even though we are beset with physical, mental, and emotional problems. I am thoroughly convinced that God does not lie to us. His Word is true. If He tells us to rejoice then I am sure we can rejoice if we do as He says.

Most of us have heard of the seven last words of the church. "We’ve never done it that way before." Let me point out the seven words for the believer. "I can do all things through Christ". This is how we can rejoice in spite of everything; in Christ. Philippians 4:13 says,

I can do everything through him (Christ) who gives me strength.

The Rock Solid Foundation

Jesus Christ is our ability, our foundation, to accomplishing anything in God’s Word. In and through Christ we have the ability to carry out the commands found within this Book. On our own we would be terrible failures but He gives us the victory. By standing on the "Rock Solid" foundation we can love God, love others, and rejoice as we are commanded.

If we focus our minds and hearts on our woes and allow that to consume us then we will not rejoice. If we focus on the world’s problems to the exclusion of all else we will not rejoice. Focus your mind on Christ and as the hymn says, "the things of this world will grow strangely dim."

I believe we are given seven (7) words that will allow us to continually rejoice in life regardless of circumstance. They are; anxious - nothing, prayerful - everything, thankful - anything, peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Anxious - Nothing

Jesus addressed worry in the Sermon on the Mount. He basically said the same thing. Don’t worry. He said in Matthew 6:25,

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

He tells us life is more important than the acquisition of things. We were not put on this earth for the purpose of possessing anything. We were put here to be possessed by Jesus Christ. Most people worry over money, possessions or other people. In Christ, we are to love people as ourselves and trust God for everything else.

This is difficult because it requires us to exercise our faith in Him. Remember, faith involves doubt. Faith by definition means that we trust and believe in the unseen. I was going to give you the example that you breathe air but you can’t se it so you are demonstrating faith. But I know someone would say you can see the air because it is brown. Let me give you another.

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