Scripture reading for September 7th: Philippians 4
Although in jail himself, Paul closed his letter with encouragement to the church to live in joy and rejoicing regardless of their circumstances. “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 everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
The church can rejoice because they are ‘in the Lord’. That alone is reason enough to rejoice. Paul believed that the Lord was near in two different ways. First, He was always present in His people and He was coming again soon for His people! This is why the church must not live in fear or anxiety! We must by prayer give all our worries to God and enjoy His peace guarding our hearts and minds.
Paul gave us two other reasons why he rejoiced and we should too. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13) Christ is our strength to face every situation! We can live by faith in His promise! “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) God will meet all our needs because He owns all the riches of this universe! We can truly rejoice along with the Apostle and Philippians in God’s wonderful provision!