Philippians 4:4 - CHOOSE HAPPINESS!
Philippians 4:4: CHOOSE HAPPINESS!
Philippians 4:4 (NKJ): Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will
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
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]
CLOSING THOUGHTS; ONE LINERS
We can be joyful in spite of our circumstances. [Life
Stress on the outside need not mean stress on the inside. [Life
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
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