December 9

Philippians 4:4-5

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” vs. 4

As Paul brings his love letter to the Philippians to a close he says good-bye by encouraging them to be people of joy. This is the best way to show him honor and give him thanks, and he even repeats it. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” It’s doubtful that he’s telling them to be happy all the time. Being happy is a pretty shallow aspiration and Paul has something deeper in mind. In Greek the word for joy and the word for grace are nearly identical, so Paul’s admonition to “rejoice in the Lord” is very close to “bask in the grace of God.” It’s a deep contentment that boils over into expressions of thanksgiving in every circumstance. Joyful people won’t be happy all the time but they will exude a kind of serenity and gentleness–there’ll be a smile in their eyes even when they cry. Obviously this isn’t a response to winning the lottery or how we feel when our team wins–it’s completely unrelated to the standards of the world. The joy we have in the Lord persists in the good times and in the bad, not even the death of a loved one can take it away. In fact because it’s rooted in faith there’s nothing in all the world that can destroy it. Along with love it is one of the sure signs of Christ’s presence in our lives.

Thought for the Day: What’s the best way to show our joy?

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