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Being Joyful

(Phil. 4:4-13, 19)

Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4; Isa. 61:10-11, 1 Thes. 5:16)

This scripture is given in the form of a command not a mere suggestion.

The word “rejoice” or some related term is used 16 times in Paul's short letter to the
Philippians.

Some Psalms about rejoicing (32:11, 47:1, 95:1-2, 98:4, 100: 1-4, 118:24)

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).

We should have joy in all circumstances. (James 1:2-3)

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive
shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there
shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my
salvation." (Hab. 3:17-18)

Paul understood what it meant to rejoice in difficult circumstances (Acts 16:22-34, Beaten,
imprisoned, yet sang songs of praise, see also Acts 28:17-20, 30; Phil. 1:13-14; Rom. 5:1-5)

For Paul joy was bound up with the salvation and relationship he enjoyed with the Lord
and was thus not contingent upon how things were going in his life or ministry.

Paul also rejoiced over the gift the Philippians had sent him (Phil. 4:10) as a sign that
the gospel was taking root and growing among them (Phil. 1:6).

Don’t mistake happiness for joy

The Bible mentions "joy" or "rejoicing" 330 times.

But it only mentions "happiness" 26 times.

Happiness depends upon outer circumstances.

Joy is internal, based on true faith and not dependent upon circumstances.

Heb. simchah means "gladness of heart,"


Gk., chara means "inner delight."

We should especially rejoice in our salvation

"Rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20)

Mary said, “My spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:47)


Joy is a benefit of seeking God (Ps. 19:8) and a sign of a heart affected by God’s Holy Spirit (Gal.
5:22-23)

"Your heart will rejoice and your joy no man can take from you. Ask and you shall receive, that
your joy may be full." (John. 16:22-24)

What steals joy from life?

One thing is anxiety, and anxiety often results from fear of change or loss.

Worry is the advance interest you pay on troubles that seldom come.

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of
anxiety. -George Muller

The English word “worry” comes from a root term that means to “strangle or choke”

But God never changes (Mal 3:6), nor does his love for us.

The secret therefore to being content in all circumstances is to completely rely on God. (Phil.
4:11-13, Heb. 13:5)

Let your gentleness/graciousness be evident to all (Phil. 4:5)

The Greek term for gentleness here (epieikes) also means to be reasonable, yielding, non-
defensive, kind, forbearing or lenient.

This term occurs 4 other times in the New Testament (1 Tim 3:3, Titus 3:2, James 3:17, 1 Pet.
2:18)

The Lord is near (Phil. 4:5)

The ability for a Christian to be gentle comes from a sense of security in the fact that God is
with them, that he is near.

The idea is to recognize that underneath everything are the everlasting arms of God, that God is
sovereign over, above and around all our circumstances, that he is greater than, whatever we are
going through.

Do not be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6)

Since the Lord is near, we have no reason to be anxious. (Deut. 1:29-31, Isa. 41:10,
Matt:6:25-34)

But in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to
God (Phil. 4:6)
Paul tells us that instead of worrying, we should pray. He directs us to pray in regard to all
concerns, “in everything”. The Greek term used here (aite mata) includes all kinds of specific
prayer requests. We are specifically directed to ask for God’s help. (James 4:2, 1 John 5:14-15)

We are also told to pray “with thanksgiving”. The Greek term used here (eucharisias) implies
that with full recognition of who God is and of what He has done for us. Petitions offered with
thanksgiving are an expression of trust in God’s power, love and faithfulness.

And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7, Col. 3:15)

Prayer + Petition + Thanksgiving = God’s Peace.

+ Put into practice what you have learned, received, heard, or seen in Paul (Phil. 4:9) = God’s
Peace

Think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:
8)

True (Gk. ale the) denotes the idea of truth which coheres with God, the gospel, and lives lived
in conformity with the gospel. When the Philippians saw such things in their culture they were
to acknowledge them.

Noble (Gk. semna) is used to describe persons worthy of respect, honorable, dignified or
serious. Deacons and aged men are to be regarded as “worthy of respect” (1 Tim 3:8; Tit 2:2).
We tend to honor what we value. For example, if you value your marriage, you honor your
marriage vows.

Right (Gk. dikaia) refers to people who are upright, just, righteous or innocent.
This could apply to one who maintains the law of God (Luke 1:6; Rom. 3:10; 1 Tim 1:9) God is
also regarded as just (Ps 140:5; Rev 16:5)
Jesus is also identified as such (Matt 27:19; 1 John 2:1; 3:7; Luke 23:47)

Pure (Gk. agna) also means holy, spiritually wise, free from sin or from the divine.
Christ is described this way (1 John 3:3). Christians are called to be this way (1 Tim 5:22, Titus
2:5). James refers to the wisdom that comes down from heaven as this (James 3:17).

Lovely (Gk. prosphile) refers to that which is pleasing, agreeable, or amiable.

Admirable (Gk. euphe ma) refers to that which is commendable, auspicious, well-sounding,
praiseworthy, attractive or appealing.

Excellent (Gk. arete) refers to moral excellence or virtue.

Praiseworthy (Gk. epainos) means someone or something which is worthy of approval,


recognition or praise.