Thursday, July 12, 2018
Romans 5:1 – 2 1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
This study on Philippians has been so timely for me, especially lately as we focus on the subject of rejoicing. So much of life right now leaves little reason for rejoicing for so many people. As a pastor, I get to live the hurts and pains of the people God brings into my life, and sometimes it is hard to rejoice. Add to that all the personal issues I have of my own, and life gets overwhelming at times. But I can praise God anyway and rejoice in the Lord because my hope is not in this world, but in Him and His coming glory! This study of Philippians has reinforced that faith.
So far in our study of Philippians, Paul has used the word rejoice seven times, and there is one more to come later in his letter. The overall theme of his conversation with the people of Philippi is to rejoice no matter what the circumstances. The basis for such encouragement is that our hope is not in the circumstances or the outcomes, but in the glory of God. Let’s review what he has said:
- Rejoice that the Gospel is being preached and that God’s purpose is being accomplished. Philippians 1:18 The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
- Rejoice that the sacrifice we make to serve Christ is producing a harvest of faith in others. Philippians 2:17-18 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
- Rejoice in the Lord and not in the circumstances of your life. Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Reflect on those three reasons to rejoice. Evaluate your level of praise. Spend time with the Lord seeking His perspective on life. When we begin to see things His way, there’s reason to rejoice. The Gospel is changing people’s lives. Our lives, lived according to God’s grace, are impacting others for Christ. And God is the One who reigns supreme, so even my circumstances are under His control.
Rejoice! And again I say, REJOICE!