“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
— Philippians 4:4
I remember the words of the classic song, “Old Man River”: “I gets weary an’ sick of tryin’, I’m tired of livin’ An’skeered of dyin’.” Tragically, that is the picture of so many people.
But Paul the Apostle is a great model to us on how to live and how to die. He had become the possessor of a new life through Jesus Christ, who makes all things new. He tells us: “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Even though he sat in a Roman prison waiting to face a possible death sentence, he still rejoiced, and again he said, “I will rejoice.”
He said for me to live is Christ. There is the secret of the fullness of life: Me, live, Christ.
Someone said it is like an arc lamp. When the two components of the self and Christ are put together, they glow with a brilliant incandescence. But if you replace Christ with anything else—with fame, or fortune, or wealth or success or whatever—then you have the smoldering dim smoky lamp that is produced by anything other than Christ.
When the love of Christ takes over the life of a soul, it produces the power of a life which can have a magnetic attraction even for the most scandalous and can change even the hardest of hearts.
Whatever happens in life, we can choose to complain or we can choose to rejoice, through it all. Paul chose to rejoice, and, therefore, they couldn’t keep him down.
Dear Father, give me strength for today to rejoice even when I don’t feel like it. Help me to remember that in You all things work out for the best for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN
REJOICE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.