Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord; again I will say, Rejoice

Paul tells the Philippians to rejoice but we might read it and think it doesn't apply to us. Paul wouldn't tell me to rejoice if he knew my situation! Paul wrote this letter from prison, but rejoicing is a recurring theme throughout the letter!
  • 1:4 he prays with joy because they are partners with him in the gospel
  • 1:8 he rejoices that the gospel is being preached
  • 2:2 their unity because of the gospel will bring him joy
  • 2:17 he will rejoice at being "poured out" for them
  • 3:1 he introduces a section of the letter about our righteousness being found in Jesus and not our own works by telling them to rejoice
  • 4:10 he rejoices because of their concern for him
Paul's circumstances are not the source of his joy, the gospel is. Our circumstances may or may not give us any cause for happiness but we can rejoice in the Lord because of the gospel. I am a sinner, but Jesus took the punishment for my sin. I am powerless to change, but the Holy Spirit gives me power to become like Jesus. I chose separation from the Father and deserve to be cast out of His presence, but He welcomes me in. Our joy is found "in the Lord". Everything else can change. God doesn't