Rejoice in the Lord
Topic: Joy Passage: Philippians 4:4–5
We began our study of Philippians by looking at this letter of the Apostle Paul through the lens of joy. Not just temporary or earthly joy, but God-centered, gospel-fueled, church-fortifying, mission-advancing joy. The word joy or rejoice is more concentrated in Philippians than any other book, used 14 different times, earning it the nickname “The Epistle of Joy”. Throughout this letter, we have seen how the gospel of Jesus gives gladness to his church in a way that roots them in the truth and also fortifies them as a community. We see that the good news of the gospel goes all the way down to our joy.
In our passage today is Paul’s inviting command: rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Because this is such a well-known and beloved verse, it can actually be dangerous on two different levels. First, we could look at our text and think the bible wants us to shirk off suffering and just pretend the struggle of life to be one of unending utopia and lollipops. But this is not at all what Paul has in view. Paul wants the joy we first knew in our salvation, to continue to be our joy in the Christian life. The other way we could approach our text is with familiar ears. We can listen to the words of God like we have heard them a hundred times before, and dismiss God’s word as something meant for children’s singing, but not the grown-up world that we live in. So, as we spend these minutes looking at God’s word, pray that our hearts will be renewed by the joy of Christ. Our passage shows us three truths of rejoicing in the Lord. 1. The Nature of Rejoicing, 2. The Object of Rejoicing, 3. The Practice of Rejoicing.
- Does your life reveal a heart that rejoices in God?
- What are warning signs that your joy in Christ is diminishing?
- In what lesser joy are you prone to look for lasting joy? (marriage, materialism, career) Speak gospel encouragement to each other after confessing these things.
- How can we fight for joy in times of suffering?
- Who is one person you need to share the gospel with?
Pray that we would grow together in our experience of rejoicing in the Lord.
Pray for the one person mentioned, that they might come to saving faith in Christ.