Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
We can rejoice always because of all the Lord has done for His children. He has given to the children of God His divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:3). Maturing in Christ is yielding to the Holy Spirit’s help in developing the nature of God in the believer. It is not trying to become a better person. We can never attain to God’s righteousness by our own effort. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we grow up into Christ.
As Paul writes to the Philippians he goes on to instruct, “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). Father God is gentle. The Lord Jesus is gentle. The Spirit of God is gentle. The gentleness of God has been placed in the believer’s spirit in the new birth. The Holy Spirit will help us exercise that gentleness in a world that attacks and can make us reactionary. Paul says “The Lord is near.” I believe that scripture can be understood in two ways.
First, the Lord is near in His coming for His own. In the first century, the Lord did come, not in the promised Second Coming, but in the promise of judgment on that generation (see Matthew 24:34). Second, He is near to be our helper. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). David writes, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). We can see God is the same in the Old or New Covenant.
Paul goes on to say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). The reel proof of trust in God is the absence of anxiety. Anxiety is controlled by a life given to prayer and supplication connected to gratitude. Not just coming to the Lord when we are in trouble, but a lifestyle of communication with our heavenly Father.
The peace of God surpasses all our comprehension. The peace of God is what guards our hearts and our minds (see Philippians 4:7). That peace is rooted in Christ Jesus. Gentleness, absence of anxiety, peace of God, and a heart and mind that is protected comes to those who “rejoice in the Lord always.”
Father, I rejoice in You. Help me to learn how to rejoice always. No matter what is happening around me, I ask for the Holy Spirit to release gentleness and peace to my heart and mind in Jesus’ name.