Philippians 4:4 - CHOOSE HAPPINESS!

Philippians 4:4: CHOOSE HAPPINESS!

Philippians 4:4 (NKJ): Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will 
say, rejoice!  


   Something happened yesterday that was making me feel sad and 
unhappy as I thought about it, and I suddenly heard the Lord whisper. 
Don't let anything make you unhappy." 
   I was reminded of how important joy is! The joy of the Lord 
strengthens us! Any kind of sadness, whether it is discouragement, 
depression, grief, or regret, weakens us and distracts us. It causes us to 
turn inward and meditate on how poorly we feel instead of serving God 
   Part of serving God with our whole heart is enjoying the life 
He has provided for us. God's Word states that we are to serve Him 
with gladness (see Psalm 100:2). There are frequently things we can 
choose to be sad about, but we don't have to be. We can choose to be 
   Having a choice always means there is more than one option 
available to us. I urge you to choose to be happy. This is a day that God 
has given you, so don't waste it being sad! 
   Father, I ask You to forgive me for any of my days I have 
wasted being sad. Please help me enjoy each day and rejoice in Your 
goodness to me. [My Time with God by Joyce Meyer] 


While believers often will encounter situations in which they 
cannot be happy, they can always rejoice and delight in the Lord. Paul 
did not call believers to an empty, put-on show of happiness, for 
Christians should not be insensitive to the sorrow of others; he called for 
genuine joy, which is possible only "in the Lord." It is only through a 
believer's relationship with God that he or she finds joy in pain, 
suffering, persecution, and sorrow. (Life Application Commentary) 

   In his letter to a persecuted church, Paul urges Christians 
in Philippi to be filled with joy (see Philippians 3:1; 4:4). He 
gives the persecuted Thessalonian believers the same advice - "Always 
be joyful" (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Similarly, Jesus also desired 
that his disciples "be filled with [his] joy" (John 15:11; 16:24).  
   Superficial happiness is dependent on circumstances. 
Christian joy is clearly different. It is rooted in a person's 
relationship with the Lord, and it is resilient even in the midst of 
suffering and death. Joy comes in knowing that whatever happens, God will 
use everything for our ultimate good (see Romans 5:3-4; 8:28).  
   Believers also have joy from the real presence of God's 
Spirit in their hearts (see Galatians 5:22). The real secret to a 
joyful life is in being continuously filled with the Holy Spirit" 
(Ephesians 5:18). The life and attitude of a believer are not defined by 
outward circumstances, but by his or her ongoing relationship with the 
living God. [One Year NLT SB] 

   Do you want to be happy and know fulfillment? Rejoice. 
Someone might say, "But you don't know my circumstances." Paul wasn't 
talking about circumstances in Philippians 4:4. He didn't say, "Rejoice 
in your circumstances always." He said to rejoice in the Lord. Does 
the Lord ever cause you to lose joy? He shouldn't, because He never 
changes from all that He is now. People become unhappy in life because 
their happiness is dependent upon their circumstances rather than upon 
the Lord. 
   Paul had a supernatural resource. He was plugged into the 
Lord--and He knew that the Lord doesn't change (Mal. 3:6). Paul was always 
happy because He could trust the Lord's consistency in the midst of 
circumstances that came and went. His joy was in the Lord, and his 
circumstances couldn't touch that joy There aren't very many happy people 
in the world, because you can't know true happiness apart from the 
Lord. People tend to base their joy on the exhilaration of their 
circumstance, but the Christian's joy is predicated on the unchanging nature 
of his Lord, and on what the Lord has done for him. 
   Our joy should be incessant. Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord 
always". Make sure you're always standing in the Lord. We can go into the 
Lord's presence and be happy with who He is when we are in the middle 
of painful circumstances Would you like to have such joy? It's 
easy: All you need to do is walk in the Spirit. (Walking in the Spirit 
is basically living in full submission to God's Word and making 
sure your life is free of sin.) Romans 14:17 says, "The kingdom of 
God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in 
the Holy Spirit." Joy is a by-product of walking in the Spirit. And 
joy is also connected to love. Jesus said, "If you loved me, ye 
would rejoice" (John 14:28). Those who love are happy. Have you ever 
noticed that when people fall in love, they are bubbling over with 
happiness? In a divine sense, the same thing happens when your heart is 
filled with love for God: You will have overflowing joy!  
   Many believers allow themselves to be victimized by their 
circumstances and consequently vacillate between a spiritual high and low. For 
them, a command to rejoice seems unreasonable. But the command is to 
rejoice "in the Lord." 
   We can't always rejoice in our circumstances or other people 
because both can be bad. However, we can rejoice in the Lord because He 
is always good and we know He never changes. So our spiritual 
stability directly relates to our knowledge of God. Knowing Him helps us 
live above our circumstances and provides stability. That's why the 
Psalms were written in poetic form and meter and set to music--so the 
people of Israel could memorize Scripture and sing hymns to deepen 
their knowledge of God. Knowing Him makes everything else seem less 
   We should rejoice because of who God is--He is sovereign. 
That's the single greatest truth I know about God. Nothing is outside 
His control, and He controls everything to work out ultimately for 
our good (Rom. 8:28). He has an infinite understanding of every 
aspect of our lives--where we are and what we say (Ps. 139:2-4). And He 
exercises His understanding in perfect wisdom. Knowing God like that will 
give you "an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Pet. 1:8, NIV). 
   We should also rejoice because God saved us, adopted us, and 
promised to give us an inheritance in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:1-11). When 
Christ returns, we will enjoy His presence and the heavenly place 
prepared for us (John 14:2-3). Until that time it's a joy to know God has 
promised to supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19). Furthermore, we have the 
privilege of serving the One we supremely love. That includes sharing the 
good news with the lost and encouraging fellow Christians to increase 
their love and service for Him. It's also a joy knowing we can pray to 
God at any time (Heb. 4:15-16). Finally, we can rejoice knowing that 
death is gain (Phil. 1:21). 
   The depth of our joy is directly proportional to how deeply 
we truly know God. And circumstances or people can't dislodge a joy 
that's based on who God is and what His promises are. by John MacArthur 
re Philippians 4:4 


   Living the Christian life is so opposite to, so against the 
grain of, our human nature. When today's Scripture exhorts us to 
"rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" our first 
inclination may be to wave it off. We may prefer to fall into the easy rut 
of being negative or depressed. Common sense, however, warns us 
this will only make things worse. Today's Scripture is a triple 
whammy. We are to rejoice in the Lord always, and then again, and do so 
with an exclamation mark. Christians can rejoice because their ground 
for doing so is not in circumstances but in the Lord. How can we 
rejoice in chronic pain or rejection or bankruptcy? Paul goes on to 
provide reason enough: "The Lord is near." You can keep a bright outlook 
in the midst of any hardship; you can have peace of mind when you 
know that the Lord Jesus Himself is close at hand. 
   Lord, I know there's no getting around this command. It's as 
clear as any verse in the whole Bible. You want me to find courage, 
joy, and hope in You - all the time and in every circumstance. I may 
not find anything to sing about in my situation, but there are 
endless reasons to sing about You. [A Spectacle of Glory by Joni 
Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby] 


We can be joyful in spite of our circumstances. [Life 
Application SB] 

Stress on the outside need not mean stress on the inside. [Life 
Application SB] 

God can't give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because 
there is no such thing. C. S. Lewis 

Ultimate joy comes from Christ dwelling within us. [Life 
Application SB] 




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