Philippians 4:4-7 - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Let's get practical today, shall we? As believers in Jesus, we get to approach life differently than those who don't know the Lord as a loving, merciful, joy-giving Savior. We have a confidence to face the day that is stronger than our best efforts and more resourceful than our own ingenuity and wisdom.
So, here in Philippians, Paul gives us a guide for facing the challenges of the day. Ready? 1) Rejoice in the Lord in all things. 2) Don't be anxious in anything. 3) Commit all things to God in prayer. 4) Rest in the confidence that God is near. He hears and He cares for you! So, rejoice in the Lord. Face whatever you're dealing with in the knowledge that you get to deal with whatever it is, with the resources, the assurances, and the presence of God Himself -- in your life.
Wow! I think this can work, don't you? I mean, if Jesus Christ has done all things well for us so that we might have forgiveness, life and salvation in Him, don't you think He wants what's best for us here too? Don't you think He cares for the things you struggle with? Paul is saying that He absolutely does, so rejoice in Him!
But I want to add one more thing to that list of get-tos in Jesus. Ready? Here it comes! Put Christ's joy to work in your life by surrounding yourself with people who love to spread the joy of Christ around too. Make sure you have people in your life who also have learned the secret of facing the day with the rejoicing, the relinquishing of anxiety, and the rest that comes in the presence of God's care and concern.
One of the blessings of being The Lutheran Hour Speaker is that I get to meet so many of you who bring me joy because you've learned the secret of living a life of rejoicing in the things of Jesus each day. Sometimes a word of encouragement from a joy-giver hits me just when I need it.
That's what often happens when I open the e-mail of a good friend from Fort Wayne, Indiana, named Paul Doenges. Paul has organized my meetings with the fourth-year graduates of Fort Wayne Seminary for all the years that I've been speaking. He and his wife, Dorothy, are delightful people who made me feel right at home the very first time I visited. But Paul does something for me that I really appreciate all throughout the year. He's a man who loves to tell jokes. He has a real dry sense of humor and he makes me laugh just thinking about him not only telling the joke but also laughing and smiling right along with us. He starts off his weekly Bible study at church with a little humor to put people at ease. So I told him, don't just do that for your people, send me a copy of those jokes too so that I can rejoice along with you.
And do you know he's been sending me a copy of those funny stories and jokes every week, every month, every year. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the middle of something, been overwhelmed with thoughts of this or that and, suddenly, there it is: Paul's joy in an e-mail that changes my whole perspective on the day. Surround yourself then with people of rejoicing, people of laughter, people who know how to take themselves less seriously by rejoicing in the Lord in all things.
Oh, yes, you can be that person too. Think about it.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, let my rejoicing be rooted in the confidence that You really care for me, that You are near, and that all things are in Your hands. And give me strength to put that joy to work for others who need it too. Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"