On Sundays we are studying the book of Philippians. One of our newer people, who has not been used to going to church frequently, told me after church the other day, “You talk a lot about Philippians.” Delightful! At least he noticed! He then said he was fully committed to faith in Christ alone. (I have been emphasizing salvation through faith in Christ in Phil. 3) What a joy!
One of the great things about the Bible is that it is always fresh. The book of Philippians is a perfect example of the energy and freshness of God’s Word. We are working in chapter three currently. Notice the simple and strong words of Paul in chapter three verse one. He gives us a basic command. Rejoice in the Lord. Paul, in prison in Rome, on a strictly human level, has little reason to rejoice. Humanly, he is at the mercy of the capricious and ruthless Roman Emperor, Nero. Many in the church were forgetting Paul or were maligning him. All the churches had big issues. He was almost powerless to effect change. But, he remains positive, trusting the Lord! He sends a hand-written letter asking for unity, repentance and joy. He commands us to rejoice in the Lord. We can do this, through the Spirit! No matter what our circumstances, no matter how hopeless it seems, we can obey God by rejoicing in Him. If we analyze our situation on a human level we may see only reasons to give up, but God calls us to press on. He calls us to trust Him!
One of my absolute favorite chapters in the Bible is Matthew eleven. By the time you get to verse twenty-five you would think that Jesus would have every reason to be discouraged. But instead, Jesus rejoiced in his father. It says, “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” Jesus is declaring his absolute trust in the fully sovereign God. We must follow his example. Believers must believe in God! We should declare our joy and trust in Our Father!
Rejoicing in the Lord is also a way of expressing our faith about the salvation of our souls. He is the Savior. We glory in Christ Jesus alone. Christ is the surpassing value in Salvation. He needs no help, and any offered help will destroy the transaction. He alone is able to save us. We do not rejoice in the Lord and anyone or anything else.
Fellow believer, are you believing? Friend, are you trusting in Christ alone?