"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Today started horribly! I realized an important computer program I need for creating covers and labels for teaching CDs had been forever wiped off all my systems and I had lost the disk it was on. My mood swung down and down and caused me to be quite irritable towards others around me. Was it the end of the world? It seemed like it under my black cloud. However, in reality, it was a minor thing.
Paul was under house arrest, unable to roam further than the chain he was attached to (which was attached to a Roman soldier to make sure that roaming did not happen). As Paul wrote to the Philippians who were experiencing persecution, he filled His letters with the joy of the Lord. You see, in trouble, the Joy of the Lord is our strength. It is as we rejoice in the Lord in the midst of problems that His love, joy and peace fill our hearts. It is not logical. We will not feel like doing it. But as we do then we will experience a divine paradox - great joy can be experienced in great distress.
Notice that Paul does not merely day "Rejoice!" That would be a glib thing to say given his and their circumstances. He said "Rejoice IN THE LORD". Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross with an inner rejoicing that the Father's will is best and He is in control. Christ lives in us by His Holy Spirit and we need to ask Him to fill us with His joy and rejoice with His rejoicing. In Him is full ness of joy..
As I did this today the Lord gave me a creative solution and I managed to find a free program that not only did what the old one did, but better! Praise the Lord. He is always good and worthy to praise and rejoice in! Amen.
In good times rejoice.
In bad times rejoice more!
When storms come in, raise your voice,
And dance before an open door.
"Thank you Father that you are always good. You are good in bad times and that is a reason to rejoice in You. always. Help me Lord to always have an attitude of gratitude as I know that you will fill me with more of your love, joy and peace as I do. Amen."