Summary: Sermon based on Phil. 4:4-13 - Encourages the hearers to rejoice no matter what their circumstances.
“THE JOY OF REJOICING” Phil. 4:4-13
FBCF – 8/23/20
INTRO – Biggest struggle in life:
- Not $ stress
- Not personal conflict
- Not addictive behaviors & habits
- Not pride, anger, impatience
#1 struggle we all have: ANXIETY – stress or worry – #1 thing that quenches & steals our joy.
There are so many things we get stressed out about.
- Sometimes single folks get stressed about whether or not they’ll ever get married.
- Chuck Swindoll – Met woman at a conf once. She had such positive outlook on life. Great sense of humor. He asked why. She said she just never got worried about anything. Didn’t get married until she was 36. Never worried about whether or not that was going to happen. Said each night, she’d hang a pair a men’s pants over on bed & pray, “Father in heaven, hear my prayer, & grant it if you can; I’ve hung a pair of trousers here, please fill them w/ a man.”
o Swindoll went back to church he pastored next week & told that story. There was half a family – father & teenage son – mother & daughter stayed home sick that Sunday.
o Week later, Swindoll got note from mom: “I’m concerned about my son. For last few days, there’s been a bikini hanging over his bed!”
Anxiety & worry so prevalent in our society right now. The Old English word from which we get our word for “worry” means “to strangle.” And that’s exactly what it does to us & to the joy in our lives.
Today, we are going to talk about the “Joy of Rejoicing” & look at some of the ingredients that we need to have in order to experience this joy. And when these ingredients are in place, we will not only experience the joy of rejoicing, but we will experience the blessing of decreased anxiety & stress in our lives.
EXPLANATION – Phil. 4:4-13
How could the apostle Paul have joy in his life? Think about this:
- Sitting in a Roman prison cell separated from his Christian brothers & sisters
- Concerned about the unity in the church b/c of some internal disputes going on & he couldn’t be w/ them to help them
- Was aware of the potential infiltration of false teachers into the church & couldn’t be there to face them
- Knew that there was external pressure on the Christians there at Philippi to bow down & give worship to the emperor & couldn’t be there to encourage them
- On top of all of that, facing possibility of a death sentence
Paul had found the secret to victory over worry & the secret to experiencing the joy of rejoicing, no matter what the circumstances of life are.
APPLICATION – We, too, can have joy in our lives no matter what our circumstances are.
And here are the 6 INGREDIENTS OF A LIFE OF REJOICING:
PRAISE – v. 4 – As Paul begin winding down this letter, he returns to the main theme: Rejoice IN THE LORD – NOT in your circumstances or situation, but IN the Lord. Our focus is to be on HIM at all times, no matter what we are facing. We are IN Him, surrounded by Him, enveloped by Him, protected by Him, securely held by Him. That’s why we praise Him at all time & rejoice in Him at all times.
Casting Crowns said it well:
And I'll praise you in this storm, And I will lift my hands
That you are who you are, No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in your hand
You never left my side, And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm
PROMISE – v. 5 – There’s an important little statement at the end of v. 5 that we don’t need to miss: “The Lord is at hand” – “The Lord is near” – “The Lord is coming soon!” HANG ON! DON’T GIVE UP! DON’T LOSE HEART! OUR TROUBLES ARE NOT GOING TO LAST FOREVER! That’s definitely a reason for rejoicing!
- 1 Thess. 4:13-18
- Old hymn chorus: “Living He loved me, Dying He saved me, Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming, O glorious day!”
- Rejoice in this promise!
PRAYER – v. 6 – Probably one of most well-known verses in NT on prayer. Such strength & encouragement in this verse! NLT sums it up well: “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything!”
Easy to say that – sometimes hard to apply that. Word for “anxious” means “to be pulled in different directions.” Isn’t that how we feel sometimes? Our hope pulls us in one direction; our worries pull us in the opposition direction.