Rejoice in the Lord (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle to the Philippians was written from Rome, and more specifically from a prison cell. Yet what is most notable throughout this wonderfully written inspiration is the mention of the words joy and rejoicing, used some sixteen times in four short chapters and each one is worthy of notation for our inspiration. In this study, we will be highlighting four verses from Philippians 4, commencing with “Rejoice in the Lord.”

Philippians 4:4:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Joy is something God gives as a spiritual inner quality of life, while happiness is something man has and is conditional upon circumstance. For instance, if someone gave us a fancy sports coupe, we would certainly be happy, but over time as the car wore down and rusted out, the happiness would begin to dwindle, especially when it needed servicing. However, joy can continue to bubble over into rejoicing regardless of any circumstance for it is literally a gift of God as His healing Word continues making known to us the complete fullness of His joy.

I John 1:4:
And these things write we unto you {the Scriptures}, that your joy may be full.

The Scriptures are written so that we may know the complete fullness of having joy. We are not half full of joy, and as we come to God’s Word and allow Him to be our guide, He is able to show us with indisputable revelations that we are completely full of His spiritual joy. When Paul said Rejoice in the Lord alway he was referring to an overabundance of joy to the point that it was running over.

John 15:11:
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Rejoice is a repeat performance of having the fullness of joy. God’s instruction to us is not only to have rejoicing always, but also to rejoice again and again. Amazingly, Paul wrote Philippians 4:4 (above) from prison, yet he himself had this inner joy that was overflowing. He had the practical experience in understanding that God continually blessed his life and even though in his current situation he was incarcerated, his life continued to be full of joy and rejoicing.

Philippians 4:5:
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Moderation means that we are to let our patience and our self-control over life’s circumstances be known. The reason that we can have patience and self-control is first and foremost that we know the Lord is at hand; He is always with us so that we need not have fear. This indeed can inspire others, believers and unbelievers.

Philippians 4:6:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Be careful for nothing is old English and means to be anxious for nothing because God indeed will answer our heartfelt prayers. When we give to God our worries, our cares, our concerns, and our fears by supplication with thanksgiving, then we will learn to have complete trust that our care is truly in His hands.

Supplication means a specific need in one’s life, and the Scripture encourages us to make our exact needs known to God with thanksgiving, that is, to be thankful in advance for God giving us the special requests that we ask of Him (Mark 11:24, I John 5:14-15).

Philippians 4:7:
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The peace of God is another spiritual quality of life that God freely gives to us. This peace far surpasses all human understanding, yet we can know with complete assurance that we indeed have the peace of God in our lives. As we continue in our personal prayer life to God, He continues showing us His peace that not only is in our hearts but also is guaranteed to us through Christ (John 14:27, Romans 5:1). The word keep means to watch over and to guard (us), to spiritually protect our hearts and minds from fears, because we already have the joy and peace of God in our hearts.

The Epistle of Philippians is such an inspiring revelation that it compels us to praise God for His wonderful Word, and so as the Apostle said, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Psalms 5:11:
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Philippians 4:4 (The Amplified Bible):*
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

“Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose.” ~Charles Du Bos~

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” ~Richard Wagner~

“To be simply ensconced in God is true joy.” ~Alfred A. Montapert~

For I Believe God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the book of Acts, we have the record of the Apostle Paul traveling (as a prisoner) on a ship toward Rome. The ship was about to sail into a fierce storm. Let us pick up the story in Acts 27:

Acts 27:10-11:
-10: And {Paul} said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading {cargo, freight} and ship, but also of our lives.
-11: Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

Because Paul was a believer, God could inspire him, this is why Paul “perceived” that trouble was imminent. Paul was correct! The ship came into a great storm, and the reason that this happened was that they (the Centurion watching over Paul, and the ship’s owner, and ship’s captain) believed, but their believing was incorrect. They believed in something that was wrong, when they should have listened to a man of God, especially when that man believes God’s Word.

Acts 27:20-22:
-20: And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest {a hurricane} lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
-21: But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
-22: And now I exhort you to be of good cheer {I exhort you to believe with me now in enthusiasm}: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.

The ship and all the people went into that storm with Paul onboard as prisoner as well. But because Paul believed God’s Word, he was delivered from the storm, and the same is true for us today, whether the storms are physical, mental, or spiritual (Isaiah 25:4).

Acts 27:23-25:
-23: For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
-24: Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
-25: Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Sometimes we cannot help the circumstance we may find ourselves in, like what happened to Paul, but we can always be aware of God’s deliverance from any storm of any kind, because God is a refuge from our storms.

Often our believing not only saves us, but even those around us. When and where we believe what is recorded in God’s Word, not only will we receive, but when we do receive from God it will be inspiring to others. On that ship the people lost all hope, but our God is a God of hope – and this becomes ever more realized as we believe in the recorded Word and will of God. When we find ourselves believing in God’s Word, our hearts will be “of good cheer,” for life itself becomes exciting, and we can say as Paul did, “for I believe God.”